Theft of Cooking Oil to Make Biodiesel in the United Kingdom

The Treasury of the United Kingdom is estimated to be losing up to $38 Million (£25 Million) in duties each year to the theft of used cooking oil. The oil is being stolen from restaurants and converted into biodiesel. The unregulated fuel is then sold on the black market.

The cost to convert used cooking oil to biodiesel when done by legitimate companies is $1.89 (£1.24) per liter. When done illegally on the black market, the cost per liter drops to $0.30 (£0.20).

During an 11 month span between 2012 to 2013, Revenue and Customs Officials in the UK shut down 24 black market biodiesel factories.

Source:  Emma Forde, “Cooking oil theft ‘costs Treasury £25m a year in lost duty’,” BBC News, March 22, 2013.