Senedd passes new workplace recycling law
A new law passed in the Senedd this week will require all business, public and third sector workplaces to separate key recyclable materials in the way that householders already do across most of Wales.
The Workplace Recycling Regulations will come into force on 6th April 2024.
The Welsh Government says it will increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste sent for incineration and to landfill.
It will also improve the quality and quantity of recyclable materials collected from workplaces, which will in turn capture important materials to be fed back into the Welsh economy.
Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said: “I’ve always spoken about us having a ‘Team Wales’ approach to everything we do to help tackle the climate crisis.
“It is important that this collective effort stems right from the biggest businesses and organisations to the smallest in helping to tackle the climate and nature emergency and improve recycling.
“I’m so proud we’ve hit another milestone in this passing of this important law which will help us take a significant step towards a stronger, greener economy as committed to within our Programme for Government.
“It is fitting that these regulations have been made at a point which coincides with the beginning of United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) as they further our commitment to reach zero waste and net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
A national communications campaign is already underway to inform workplaces on the upcoming changes, provide sector-specific guidance, case studies and other resources to support workplaces and the waste sector to comply with this new law.
Director of Sustainability at Bluestone, Marten Lewis, said: “Recycling just makes financial business sense. It’s cheaper, it reduces our carbon footprint, aligns with our values, and delivers on our corporate social responsibility.
“We have been separating our waste products for several years, so adapting to the new legislation has not been too different. The overall response to the changes from both staff and guests has been positive, with most people saying the new bins make the recycling process easier to understand what goes where.
“The key to complying to the law changes, particularly in our sector, where we are dealing with high volumes of staff and guests, is to plan well in advance. The sooner you can start implementing the changes, the better.”
Executive Director of the Environmental Services Association, Jacob Hayler, said: “The new Workplace Recycling Regulations mark another large step forward for Welsh recycling, building on the successful household system.
“The recycling and waste management industry very much supports measures to harmonise requirements, which reduces confusion, increases participation, and boosts performance. The certainty that clear and timely regulation provides also enables industry to invest in, and deliver, the services needed to support higher recycling rates.”
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