April 13, 2024

Cardiff retailer says that new workplace law makes handling waste easier and cheaper.

A small Cardiff retailer has reported that the changes it has made to comply with the new workplace recycling law has made handling its waste easier to manage, more efficient and cheaper.

Canton Food Market put in a set of new bins for its food waste, cardboard, plastics, and general waste, earlier this year, after hearing about new workplace recycling law from April 2024.

The new law means that all workplaces across Wales will have to separate their waste for recycling and arrange for it to be collected separately.

Julie James, Minister for Climate Change said: “Wales’s new workplace recycling law will help improve both the volume and quality of recycling we collect each year. This is not only important in delivering against the climate and nature emergency but will crucially also deliver benefits to the economy by capturing a resilient supply of high-quality recycled materials. This shows how we can work together to reduce our environmental impact and lay the foundations for a stronger, greener economy.

Linda Breen, Sales Assistant at the Canton Food Market said: “All our waste used to just go into one big bin out the back of the premises, but due to its size, it was not collected very frequently, and it took up a lot of space. Now we are finding that our recyclable waste is being collected twice a week, and the smaller bins take up a lot less space. We are also producing much less general waste, so we are saving money.

“Like many other small businesses, we were worried about the change, but we have learned that change can be a good thing. The fact is, it works, while also making the management of our waste much easier.

“Communicating the changes to staff has also been relatively simple because we are only a small team, but we have clearly labelled, and colour coded all the bins to make it as clear as possible for staff to understand what goes where.”

Lisa added: “We are pleased that we are already fully prepared for the new law before it comes into effect and are now considering other ways to reduce our waste. For instance, we have a special offers area to get rid of fruit and vegetables that are becoming overripe, and we offer a local pig farmer, any food that is passed its best and can no longer be sold. We are also eliminating plastic bags from the shop and encouraging customers to bring their own reusable bags.”

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.” 

The aim of the new recycling law is to increase the quality and quantity of recycling, while keeping materials in use for as long as possible. This will bring significant economic opportunities, support supply chains, build greener communities, and support a circular economy for Wales.

In just 20 years, Wales has gone from recycling less than 5% to recycling 65% of our waste and is now ranked third in the world. This helps to save around 400,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year. The new law will help to continue to increase recycling rates while supporting Wales’ commitment to become a zero-waste nation by 2050.

For more information on how the changes will affect your business and for guidance on what you need to do visit www.gov.wales/workplacerecycling.

Advice for workplaces preparing for the new law:

  • Plan ahead – find out what the changes mean to you, what you need to do to comply and allow plenty of time to implement changes.
  • Talk to your recycling and waste collector – you need to make sure they can collect your separated waste.
  • Look at where and how your waste is collected – can you reduce the amount of waste you produce? What materials will you need to separate and what is the best way to do it.
  • Think about what internal and external bins you might need – what containers will you need for each of the different recycling materials.
  • Communicate – develop a plan to communicate the changes to staff, guests, visitors, customers etc so they understand what they need to do with their waste.
  • Think about health and safety – make sure your bins are accessible, are easy to access and move.