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Waste law is launched by Environment Minister Jane Davidson

Environment Minister Jane Davidson has proposed a measure that will enable materials such as food, wood, glass and plastic to be restricted or banned from landfill in Wales.

The measure [law] has been presented before the Welsh Assembly (February 22).

It would also give ministers the power to introduce a mandatory charge for plastic carrier bags and give ministers the power to set councils legally-binding targets for recycling, with penalties for failure.

Speaking about the proposals to ban certain materials from landfill, Environment Agency Wales strategy and policy manager Dr Cathy OBrien said: It is certainly what is required given the changes that are about to occur for the definition of municipal waste.

Davidson said: The way that we manage waste and protect our environment is critical to the future of Wales. If successful the waste measure will enable us to achieve the ambitions set out in our strategy towards zero waste that is becoming a high recycling country by 2025 and a zero waste country by 2050.

We all know that landfill is the most environmentally damaging option for waste. The measure will allow us to ban certain materials from landfill and ensure that we significantly increase our recycling rates.

The measure will drive us towards waste management practices that are much more sustainable and help us to reduce both our ecological and carbon footprints.

The Welsh Assembly will issue a joint consultation on landfill bans with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at some point in March.

The waste measure will also provide Welsh Ministers with the power to introduce fees and charging schemes for site waste management plans relating to the construction and demolition sector. The new measure will ensure that the relevant enforcement authorities have got the appropriate resources to make sure companies comply with their site waste management plans.

The proposed carrier bag charge is due to come into force in spring 2011 and shoppers may pay between 5p and 15p for plastic carrier bags in stores. The measure would enable ministers to ensure retailers pass revenue raised from the carrier bag charge to specified environmental projects, should a voluntary agreement fail.

The measure will be now scrutinised by an assembly committee which is expected to report on it by 25 June.

A vote of the full plenary of the assembly on the measure should follow before the summer recess.


  • Site waste management plans are now a legal requirement in England for all construction projects that were started after 6 April 2008 with an estimated construction cost of over £300,000.
  • A SWMP sets out how resources will be managed and waste controlled at all stages during a construction project.

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