Julie James, Minister for Climate Change
Tomorrow (23 November), during Wales’ Climate Week, I am launching two consultations related to regulatory reforms which will make a significant contribution to our action on the climate and nature emergency. The consultations set out the detail of the intended requirements for all non-domestic premises, covering businesses, the public and third sector, to separate key recyclable materials in the way the majority of Wales’ householders already do. This will further improve the quality, quantity and consistency in the way we collect recyclable materials across Wales, delivering against our commitment in Beyond Recycling and Net Zero Wales to bring forward these reforms to realise significant carbon savings and positive benefits for the economy.
Following on from the two previous consultation exercises in 2013/14 and in 2019 conducted on these policy proposals, the consultations now seek views on the draft code of practice setting out the detailed separation requirements; the proposed phasing of the requirements for certain waste streams following engagement with stakeholders (available here gov.wales/separate-collection-waste-materials-recycling-code-practice-wales ); and the proposed enforcement approach (available here gov.wales/proposals-enforcing-business-public-and-third-sector-recycling-regulations-wales). The consultations will be open for 12 weeks, closing on 15th February 2023, with responses informing the final drafting of the code of practice and the proposed regulations. The aim being for the regulations to come into force on 1 October 2023.
The reforms being consulted upon are not only key to driving up the quantity and quality of recycling from non-domestic premises but are also a vital component in the delivery of Wales’ commitments to reach zero waste and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. They will also help us to reduce environmental pollution and the impact we have outside of Wales through the extraction of raw materials for the goods we consume.
Alongside the environmental imperatives, our progress towards a more circular economy where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, brings with it significant economic opportunities. With the cost-of-living crisis impacting the cost of materials, more effectively capturing high quality material that can go back into the Welsh economy is a key way
in which we can improve the resilience of our supply chains. In addition, these reforms bring benefits by creating savings, through for example securing higher costs for high quality materials captured, whilst creating opportunities to derive greater added economic value in Wales and create additional jobs in the circular economy. It is also an area where, in Wales, we have a huge opportunity to build on the success of our world-class household recycling.
To date, the Welsh Government has invested over £1 billion in household recycling, which has transformed Wales from a nation that recycled less than 5% of its municipal waste to over 65% in 2021-22 and is already contributing savings of around 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. These reforms to improve our business, public and third sector recycling will see us taking the next step in our journey as a recycling nation. Continued action in this area is key to our commitments to embed our response to the climate and nature emergency in everything we do and build a stronger, greener economy as we make maximum progress towards decarbonisation; creating a green and prosperous Wales for future generations.