James Evans is calling on the Welsh Government to consider implementing a pause on enforcement of the new workplace recycling regulations coming into force tomorrow.

From tomorrow (Saturday, April 6), it will become law for all businesses, charities, and public sector organisations in Wales to sort their waste for recycling.

In a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs Huw Irranca-Davies MS, Mr Evans raised his concerns around the speed at which the regulations are being introduced when many businesses are still struggling to find waste operators to collect their recycling.

The Brecon and Radnorshire MS has called for a pause to any enforcement action until April 2025 to allow businesses time to adjust.

“I am deeply concerned about the changes to the workplace recycling that are due to come into force this weekend,” said Mr Evans.

“At a time when small businesses are facing significant financial pressures, many business owners are telling me they are fearful of people dumping rubbish in their bins and facing legal action as a result.

“I am calling on Welsh Government to consider pausing enforcement of the regulations until April 2025 to give businesses the time to find solutions without fear of being fined or prosecuted.”

In the letter Mr Evans said he, and no businesses he had spoken to, were against the intentions of the policy, and will do all they can to increase recycling rates, but for many businesses “compliance is nigh on impossible”.

The Welsh Government says the changes will increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste sent for incineration and to landfill.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are introducing this legislation to improve how we manage waste, reduce the amount of waste we send to incineration and landfill and to improve the quality and quantity of recyclable materials we collect from workplaces so we can return these valuable materials to the Welsh economy.

“The reforms have been developed over the last 10 years with consultation and engagement at every stage. The costs of managing waste not recycled are likely to increase substantially over the next few years – recycling usually helps reduce the overall costs of managing waste.

“We encourage businesses to shop around for a recycling collection service. We are confident the majority of private waste companies and local authorities in Wales can already offer compliant collections or are planning to provide compliant collections by the coming into force date.

“We have been working with partners, including Business Wales and WRAP, to identify good practice in material separation and bin location; train and upskill staff; and optimise and rationalise systems to reduce waste and minimise costs.”

The Welsh Government has confirmed that Natural Resources Wales (NRW) will first provide advice to those not complying with the new regulations.

Only those not taking any steps at all to comply will be further inspected by NRW.

Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change, Huw Irranca-Davies said: “Wales is already the best in the UK for domestic recycling and third best in the world.

“We now want to improve the quality and quantity of recycling from workplaces. This is an important step towards reaching zero waste, reducing our carbon emissions and tackling the climate emergency.

“We want to keep materials in use for as long as possible. With the costs of materials rising, keeping high quality materials in use will help our economy and support our supply chains.

“It will also improve the quality and quantity of recyclable materials collected from workplaces, which will in turn capture important materials to be fed back into the Welsh economy.”

Mr Evans has previously slammed the the implementation of the new rules as “ludicrous” amid concerns from businesses that the laws will do more harm than good.