29 February 2024

Welsh Businesses Prepare for New Recycling Law

Welsh Businesses Prepare for New Recycling LawUnder the new legislation, Welsh businesses must start separating their recycled waste by April 6th, 2024. 

Wales, the UK leader in domestic recycling and third best in the world, has now introduced a new legislation targeted towards businesses hoping to further tackle the global environmental crisis.  

Welsh local authorities report that the household recycled waste is at 65%, which allowed Wales to save 400000 tonnes of CO2e per year. This is a massive step in the right direction for Wales to be on target for Net Zero Targets. However, to see further developments in the reduction of Wales's carbon footprint, from April 6th businesses are to follow the practice of separating their recycling waste. 

The law

As a part of this mandatory workplace recycling regulation, businesses need to separate their recycling through different containers, ensuring that the different materials don’t mix. The material categories are:

  • Paper and card
  • Glass
  • Metal, plastic, and cartons
  • Unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment
  • Unsold then textiles

This law has also drafted how will businesses that produce more than 5kg of food waste a week, dispose of their food and waste. This section of the law outlines that businesses should not send food waste to landfill sites or sewers. 

If unfollowed businesses are at risk of being fined by local authorities (food waste) or by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) (separate recycling). 

Which businesses will be affected?

This law is mandated for all businesses across businesses, charities to public sector organisations. To see the full list of what this includes click here. 

The benefits of this legislation

From the success of the domestic recycling law, the Welsh government is confident this new act will massively help towards a greener Wales. The reduction of raw materials, landfills, and incinerating waste will cut carbon emissions, and promote stronger eco-value chains for Welsh businesses.

Enforcing this law will correlate to Wales producing a higher quality of recycled materials and reduce the risk of downcycling. This thorough approach to sorting through recyclable waste materials, will improve Welsh resource efficiency and reduce this country's reliance on extracting/importing primary resources In turn the Welsh public should see some economic benefits from this, as importation of materials is associated with the cost of living crisis. 

“Incorporating this rollout to workplaces will provide benefits to the economy by capturing a resilient supply of high quality recycled materials, creating job opportunities and investments”    Julie James, Welsh Minister for Climate Change 

Advice for Welsh businesses

Before this legislation comes into effect, Welsh businesses should take steps to properly prepare rather than being at risk of fines. Businesses should:

  • Get a waste audit to identify which waste that business produces falls under this regulation and if any additional bins for collection.
  • Reach out to your current waste collector to ensure they will collect your separated waste. 
  • Find ways to reduce your organisation's waste.
  • Make sure employees are confident with this new waste system by training them. Post images as reminders and relevant materials in areas near bins, to ensure both guests and staff don’t forget.