May 2016

Environmental Policy Recommendations Enshrined in Welsh Law

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Environmental policy options put forward in an appraisal carried out by Eunomia for the Welsh Government have now been enshrined in Welsh law.

Last month, the Welsh Assembly passed the Environmental (Wales) Bill, a landmark piece of legislation that puts the sustainable management of natural resources at the centre of all future laws in the nation.

The wide reaching bill, which was given Royal Assent on March 21st, includes a range of diverse policies to promote sustainability, taking in resource management, climate change, waste management, charges for carrier bags, fisheries and marine licensing.

The Eunomia project team provided an appraisal of policy options for the waste management sector, and supported Welsh Government as it carried out its Impact Assessment into the introduction of the policies. Of the policies considered in Eunomia’s analysis, three were incorporated into the bill. These are:

– Providing Welsh Ministers with expanded powers to require waste to be collected separately, and linked to this, requiring businesses or organisations to present waste for collection in accordance with any separation requirements established.

– Prohibiting businesses or organisations from discharging food waste produced or brought onto a premises via the public sewers.

– Providing Welsh Ministers with powers to introduce regulations to prohibit the incineration of certain recyclable waste.

Other policies considered in the analysis, but which were not taken forward into the bill, included a ban on landfill and more significant changes to the way in which commercial waste services are procured.

At the heart of the bill is a commitment to tackling climate change, with at least an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050.

Ann Ballinger, Principal Consultant at Eunomia who was involved in the project from start to finish said:

“The policies put forward in the Bill on waste management, which aim to increase recycling by businesses of a range of materials including food waste, will also lead to a reduction in global climate change emissions, as well as leading to financial savings for Welsh waste management businesses.”