All Welsh businesses will need to sort their workplace waste for recycling when a new law comes into effect in 2024.
The law will apply to all businesses, charities and public sector organisations in Wales including, but not limited to, agricultural premises, construction sites, educational institutions, factories, hospitality businesses, stations, ports and warehouses. NHS and private hospitals will have an additional two years to comply.
From 6 April 2024, businesses will need to separate recyclable materials such as card and paper, cartons, plastic and metal, food, glass, unsold textiles and unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment for collection.
The law also features other measures including bans on sending food waste to a public drain or sewer and sending recyclable waste and wood waste to landfill.
The new law aims to improve the quality and quantity of workplace recycling and build on the success of domestic recycling in Wales, for which the nation currently ranks as the best in the UK and third best in the world. It also supports the Welsh Government’s Beyond Recycling circular economy strategy.
Launched in 2021, the strategy sets out plans to make resource efficiency part of Welsh culture and achieve zero waste and net zero emissions by 2050. Beyond Recycling includes targets for 2025, 2030 and 2050 to produce less waste, reduce avoidable food waste and end landfill use, such as a 70% recycling rate for households and commercial and industrial businesses by 2025.
All businesses in Wales will be required to follow the new law and non-compliance could lead to fines. A draft Code of Practice has been published and the final version will be available later this year.
Natural Resources Wales will be responsible for ensuring that recyclable materials are being separated and collected correctly instead of being sent to landfill, while local authorities will make sure that the ban on food waste being sent to public drains or sewers is followed.
The Welsh Government and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) will provide businesses with further information ahead of the law coming into force in 2024. This will include communication resources for use in the workplace, sector-specific guides with more detail about how to prepare and online webinars.