Wales needs new legislation to ensure its natural resources are managed sustainably, according to minister for natural resources and food Alun Davies.
Commenting on his newly published Environment Bill White Paper he said the draft legislation would be key in delivering long-term prosperity.
Waste regulations would be overhauled, with specific initiatives including:
- Separation of waste by the waste producer
- Energy-from-waste bans for key materials
- Landfill bans for key materials
- Disposal of waste food to sewer
- Minimum charges other types of carrier bags in addition to the current single-use carrier bag minimum charge
- Allowing retailer to apply proceeds of bag charges to any good causes, rather than to environmental good causes only
From 1 January 2015, waste collecters must collect paper, glass, metal and plastic by separate collection in order to comply with the Waste Framework Directive. This is unless it is not technically, economically and environmentally practicable (TEEP) to do so.
However, the White Paper pushes this forward and states: “In order to promote high quality recycling, we propose giving the Welsh ministers the power to extend the requirement for separate collection to include specified materials. Card, wood and food wastes are currently under consideration.”
In order to allow businesses to prepare for the changes, this duty would not come into place before the 1st January 2017, according to the document.
Davies said the overall White Paper aims are to cut red tape and simplify natural resource management.
He added: “We need a modern legislative framework that recognises the value of our natural resources and the services they provide and the need for us to manage them carefully for the long term benefit of Wales.”
The White Paper comes in response to the Welsh Government’s consultation on the Sustaining a Living Wales Green Paper in 2012.
A consultation on the Environment Bill White Paper will run until 15 January 2014.