his month in Wales, new legislation from the Welsh Government is coming into effect, requiring businesses and charities to separate their waste for recycling.

 Whilst many businesses are already doing this, the new expectations are causing many businesses concern.

 Sadly, it would seem little thought has been given to the practical implications for businesses, many of whom are already struggling as a result of high business rates, reduced Welsh Government support and the general cost of doing business. 

 I have already heard from many businesses in Monmouthshire raising their concerns surrounding the new legislation and their ability to comply with it. 

 Whenever the Welsh Government seeks enacts new policy and legislation communication is key. Ministers must ensure that businesses are taken with them on the journey rather than force legislation on them. Sadly, once again, many businesses don’t feel they have been engaged with as they should have.

 Under this new legislation, workplaces will have to separate waste into six separate streams which will result in businesses needing to find space for six separate bins. 

 This expectation has real practical implications as locating these extra bins, certainly for our high-street businesses presents real challenges without cluttering those areas we need to keep attractive and accessible.

 This has all come as yet another burden on local businesses that are already struggling.

 I am also concerned by the fact that there is no limit to the fines that businesses could face if they do not recycle correctly, bringing a further worry for those just trying to make a living.

 I have written to Monmouthshire County Council asking guidance for businesses who are facing difficulties and I’m still awaiting clarity over many aspects of the legislation.

 These regulations will affect charities who do a fantastic job and I know they will raise to the challenge, but these new regulations come at a cost, and I sincerely hope that the Welsh Government consider how to work with councils to enable charities to be exempt from additional charges.

 This is something I will be taking up with the new Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change.

 To conclude, I hope that National Resources Wales will listen to the concerns that businesses have surrounding these new changes and work closely with councils and with SMEs, working to support compliance rather than a heavy-handed approach.