The industry has hit back as renewable energy company, Ecotricity, has encouraged consumers to switch to ‘vegan energy’.
This has resulted after Ecotricity criticised the use of green energy, with the AD industry justifying the need to recycle animal by-products and slurry for energy.
Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), said: “Ecotricity’s campaign serves to highlight the considerable waste generated by society today, which the anaerobic digestion industry recycles into valuable green energy and bio-fertilisers.
"We fully support the waste hierarchy and believe that as little waste as possible should be produced across all areas of society, including food waste and agriculture. In an ideal world, there would be no need for our industry.
"But where these wastes are produced - and they are, in huge quantities - it’s critical that they are recycled through anaerobic digestion – which gets by far the most out of them compared to other waste treatment technologies - into renewable energy and soil-restoring bio-fertiliser rather than left wasted and untreated to release climate-change-inducing methane into the atmosphere.
"In the same way as recyclers of other materials such as paper, metal, or glass, anaerobic digestion is offering a solution to a problem we all create.
"Anaerobic digestion is there to make the best of agricultural and other organic wastes (such as sewage and food waste) where they do arise, not to cause them in the first place - and this is a hugely important distinction."
Through the UK energy regulator, Ofgem, Ecotricity have released the components that make up each energy company’s fuel mix for generating electricity.
Ecotricity claim energy production should be free of all traces of animal biomass and by-products.