Resource Use

Nearly 80% of SMEs in Wales support new Workplace Recycling law

A survey investigating business perceptions and attitudes regarding the forthcoming changes to workplace recycling in Wales reveals support for the regulations, but a lack of knowledge surrounding them. 

Cardiff University's new multi-stream bin system
Cardiff University's new multi-stream bin system
Interviews conducted with representative samples of decision-makers in small and medium-sized enterprise establishments (SMEs) in Wales indicated that 79 per cent of SMEs supported the Workplace Recycling law change. Only 11 per cent of respondents surveyed were against the law change.

Wales’ new workplace recycling law comes into force on 6 April 2024. It aims to improve the quality and quantity of recycling by requiring all workplaces in the country to separate their waste into six streams for recycling. This is part of the Welsh government’s strategy to reach zero waste and net zero carbon by 2050.

Attitudes to Wales’ Workplace Recycling

42 per cent of participants surveyed were spontaneously aware of the new recycling regulations and, when prompted with an explanation, still less than half reported having heard about the changes.

Further, 49 per cent of SMEs said they did not feel informed about the actions they need to take to prepare for the law change, with less than a third reporting that they had seen or heard communications about it.

Despite this, 66 per cent of SMEs surveyed felt either ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ well prepared, with 65 per cent claiming that they already recycle everything they can.

The survey was commissioned by the Welsh Government’s Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy department and conducted by Beaufort Research in October 2023.

A total of 502 telephone interviews were completed and analysed, with quotas on business activity and size set per region, to ensure the sample reflected the SME business population in Wales.
Eligible respondents were defined as the manager, proprietor, owner, managing director or other senior manager present at the time of the interview. Participants could choose whether to take the survey in English or Welsh.

In addition to this business survey, two separate surveys have investigated public attitudes and perceptions towards the legislative changes affecting workplaces. These were conducted in February-March 2023 and November 2023.


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