British Lime Association (BLA) part of the Mineral Products Association (MPA)


british lime association

Lime in Road SolutionS Lime Uses EDUCATION Lime the versatile mineral that supports our vital industries
BLA Conference - Lime in Road Solutions, November 2017. More → Learn more about the uses of lime. More → Find out about how lime is made, lime in your home and much more! → Lime is a fundamental but often unseen ingredient for many key UK industries. Download PDF ↓

BLA issues approach on the critical nature of lime manufacturing

Lime is an essential product for the proper functioning of drinking water and wastewater treatment plants and is vital for the treatment and sanitation of sludge from these operations. Lime is used to clean emissions from waste incinerator, energy from waste plants, and other large combustion plants. Lime is also used in the in the manufacture of primary materials (e.g. steel, plastics) that are used to produce other goods that may be critical to combating COVID-19. As such, lime manufacturing is work critical to combating the spread, and in treating, COVID-19. For more information please read on.

British Lime Association's Sustainable Development Report illustrates world leading performance of the lime sector

Industries supported by industrial lime are as diverse as construction, iron and steel, water treatment, emissions control, agriculture, food production, paper products, glass making, plastics and pharmaceuticals. Against this background, the British Lime Association (BLA) has published its 2019 Sustainable Development Report, highlighting that the sector maintained its impressive sustainability performance, as UK production continued to grow to over 1.19 million tonnes.

Following the launch of the Mineral Products Association (MPA) Charter in 2017, the BLA Sustainable Development Report now aligns with the 7 MPA Strategic Priorities. This report highlights the positive contribution made by the lime industry in 2018 to Communicating Industry Value, Health and Safety, People, Resource Use, Climate Change and Energy, the Natural Environment and the Built Environment.

Exports from BLA Members reached new heights in 2018, exceeding 300,000 tonnes. This is more than double the exports during the recession (around 140,000 tonnes in 2009) and accounts for over a quarter of the UK's total lime output. But this massive increase represents more than just bounce-back – it's a real increase in export market share, exceeding pre-recession levels by around 40% (around 218,000 tonnes in 2006) and, the BLA estimates that the 2018 exports added more than £3 million to the UK economy.

BLA Members are proud of the Health and Safety improvements they have implemented over recent years, by continuing to focus on Zero Harm and actively sharing and embedding best practice. The number of incidents across all employees and contractors has reduced by 40% from 2011 levels, but in 2018 there was an increase in lost time incidents compared to the low levels achieved in 2014. The BLA is taking active steps to address these issues.

The report also highlights that:

  • 17% lower CO2 – Decarbonisation from dolime combustion since 2011. 
  • Waste to landfill - 76% lower than 2011.
  • 40% fossil fuel replaced with alternative fuels indolime manufacture.
  • Export sales - 15% increase since 2011and 38% since 2006. 
  • Particulate, NOx and SO2 emissions - 1,370 tonnes less than 2011. 
  • Environmental incident free - No Category 1 or 2 incidents. 

Commenting on the sector performance, Dr Rebecca Hooper, Manager of the BLA said: "Lime is an essential material for our daily lives and makes a significant contribution to the economy. We are proud to supply quality products to UK markets and overseas whilst maintaining world-leading environmental performance. We are pleased to be engaging with Government and research institutions on our low carbon future. We value the people who work for us and are maintaining our focus on improving H&S issues. BLA members are an important source of jobs and we work closely with local communities, making an active contribution through formal volunteering, and by encouraging informal staff-organised charitable activities."

Representing the UK Lime Industry

The UK lime industry provides the hidden ingredient for the essential products in everyday life. Lime is used for anything from drinking water purification and iron and steel manufacture to environmental remediation and emissions cleansing.

There are two types of lime manufactured in the UK, which are high calcium lime (quicklime, hydrated or slaked lime) and Dolomitic Lime. Around 2 million tonnes of lime is produced every year, which is made from quarried limestone or chalk.

The British Lime Association (BLA) represents the three major UK manufacturers of lime; Lhoist UK, Singleton Birch Ltd and Tarmac. The BLA is part of the Mineral Products Association, the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries


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BLA is part of the Mineral Products Association, the trade association for the Aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, lime, mortar and silica sand industries.

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