Welsh waste diverted by business fund

Businesses in Wales will receive £9.5 million in funding to help them divert waste away from landfill, the Welsh Assembly government has announced.

Hot on the tail of Defra's recently launched Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) programme (see related story), which will give millions of pounds to help businesses in the UK minimise waste and promote resource efficiency, the announcement will give Welsh companies an extra boost to help manage their waste sustainably.

Carwyn Jones, Welsh Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside, said that around two thirds of the total money would be allocated over three years through WRAP's Materials Action Programme, with £3 million going to the Envirowise programme that helps companies divert waste from landfill.

"This announcement is further proof that being environmentally friendly makes good business sense. There is a real danger that by ignoring the waste reduction messages, businesses will lose out financially," Mr Jones stated.

He added that businesses could easily save huge amounts of money by cutting waste and improving resource efficiency, incurring great benefits to both business and the environment at little or no cost to themselves.

"The financial impact of the Landfill Tax has obvious implications for businesses, as the cost of sending waste to landfill sites rises," Mr Jones continued. "This new programme will help businesses to find alternatives to landfill, whether this be through reducing, recycling or reusing waste."

The Materials Action Programme will use the funds to link companies producing wastes to other businesses that can use these waste products as valuable raw materials, while monitoring waste management in Wales, reducing the number of resources being wasted while also minimising waste.

Minister for Economic Development and Transport, Andrew Davies said that the programme underpinned many aspects of the Welsh Business and Environment Action Plan.

"This will help Welsh businesses to prepare themselves better for the new challenges of resource efficiency and integrated product policy," he said.

"These issues are very much on the agenda across Europe and many other parts of the world, and we must make sure that Welsh businesses are leaders, rather than followers."

By Jane Kettle



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