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Welsh Assembly Action Will help Drive Wales Towards Zero Waste

A proposed Measure to improve how Wales deals with its waste was laid before the National Assembly on Monday 22nd February.

The Measure, which is being driven by Environment Minister Jane Davidson, will enable Wales to adopt much more sustainable waste management practices, will support the Welsh Assembly Government’s work to introduce a mandatory charge for carrier bags and will be key to helping the Welsh Assembly Government achieve the ambitions sets out in its new waste strategy ‘Towards Zero Waste’.

Speaking after a recent visit to the Hermon Civic Amenity & Recycling Centre in Pembrokeshire the Minister 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. It will also support our work to introduce a mandatory charge for carrier bags.

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

The Waste Measure covers four main areas:

* It will enable the Welsh Assembly Government to ban or restrict specified kinds of waste from landfill.
* It will provide the Welsh Ministers with the powers to set statutory targets for the percentage of municipal waste that local authorities recycle or compost, as well as provide the power to impose financial penalties on local authorities failing to meet those targets.
* It will provide the Welsh Ministers with the power to introduce fees and charging schemes for Site Waste Management Plans relating to the Construction and Demolition sector in Wales.
* And finally it will support the Welsh Assembly Government’s work to introduce a mandatory charge for carrier bags and will enable the Welsh Ministers to ensure, should the voluntary agreement with retailers fail to deliver satisfactory outcomes, that retailers pass the revenue raised from the carrier bag charge on to specified environmental projects. The proposed carrier bag charge is due to come into force in spring 2011.

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