A recently passed legislation in the Senedd mandates all business, public, and third sector workplaces to segregate essential recyclable materials, akin to the practice adopted by households across most of Wales.
The Workplace Recycling Regulations are scheduled to be enforced starting from April 6, 2024.
The Welsh Government anticipates that this measure will enhance recycling efforts, consequently reducing the volume of waste directed toward incineration and landfills.
Additionally, it aims to augment the quality and quantity of recyclable materials collected from workplaces, facilitating the reintegration of vital resources into the Welsh economy.
Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, emphasised the importance of a collective ‘Team Wales’ approach in addressing the climate crisis in all aspects of their initiatives.
“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.”
An ongoing nationwide communication initiative has commenced to educate workplaces about the imminent alterations.
This campaign aims to furnish sector-specific guidance, case studies, and additional resources. Its primary objective is to assist workplaces and the waste sector in adhering to this newly introduced legislation.
Jacob Hayler, Executive Director of the Environmental Services Association, 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.”
Bluestone’s Director of Sustainability, 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.”