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Written - Waste (Wales) Measure 2010

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Jane Davidson, Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing

Members will wish to be aware that the proposed Waste (Wales) Measure 2010 will be laid today, 22nd February 2010.  I will be making a Legislative Statement in plenary tomorrow, 23rd February 2010, to introduce the proposed Measure.


The Assembly Government’s revised Waste Strategy, Towards Zero Waste, which has recently been the subject of public consultation, sets out the general policy context for the provisions in the proposed Measure.  The long term aim of the Strategy is that Wales becomes a zero waste country by 2050.   The proposed Measure supports the broad aims of Towards Zero Waste by putting in place policy interventions which will lead to the adoption of more sustainable waste management practices.  The adoption of such practices will better enable us to live within our environmental means and address current wasteful practices in relation to material resources. In particular, a more sustainable approach to waste management can play an important role in reducing Wales’ ecological and carbon footprints in line with the Assembly Government’s Sustainable Development Scheme.  In addition to the environmental benefits, changing the way that we deal with waste will also lead to significant opportunities to save money as well as creating high quality jobs in the environmental industry sector, in line with the Assembly Government’s Green Jobs Strategy.


The proposed Measure covers four main policy areas, summarised below.  These are also described in detail in the Explanatory Memorandum.


Firstly, the proposed Measure provides a power to enable the Welsh Ministers to make regulations requiring retailers to apply the net proceeds of revenues raised from the sale of single use carrier bags to specified environmental purposes or specified bodies, who would need to apply the net proceeds of the charge to specified environmental purposes.  The power contained in the proposed Measure will only be used if voluntary arrangements with retailers, in relation to how they use the proceeds from the sale of single use carrier bags, do not deliver satisfactory outcomes.  The proposed Measure provisions will therefore complement the Welsh Assembly Government’s policy on single use carrier bags.   


Secondly, the proposed Measure sets statutory targets for local authorities for the percentage of municipal waste to be recycled, prepared for re-use and composted as well as making local authorities liable to pay penalties in the event that they fail to meet these targets.  The proposed Measure also enables the Welsh Ministers to establish other targets in relation to the prevention, reduction, collection, management, treatment or disposal of waste; and impose penalties for non-compliance with such targets. 


Thirdly, the proposed Measure provides the Welsh Ministers with a power to ban or restrict the disposal of specified kinds of waste to landfill. 


Finally, the proposed Measure provides the Welsh Ministers with the power to make regulations about fees and charging schemes in relation to Site Waste Management Plans for the Construction and Demolition sector in Wales.  The proposed Measure also restates the existing powers of the Welsh Ministers under section 54 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 to make regulations requiring Site Waste Management Plans.


I look forward to working with you over the coming months as part of the scrutiny of this proposed Measure.