Local shops in Wales have raised concerns over proposals in the Environment (Wales) Bill that would see new regulations introduced on carrier bags and waste disposal.
The Bill puts forward the following proposals:
• increase the scope of the carrier bag charging regulations to allow Welsh ministers to impose a mandatory charge on all types of carrier bags (for example bags for life);
• remove the voluntary aspect of the carrier bag charging scheme, instead introducing a mandatory requirement for retailers to donate the proceeds of the bag charge to charitable causes;
• give Welsh ministers further powers to require that different types of waste are separated before collection by retailers.
Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) chief executive James Lowman said: “The current carrier bag charging regulations have been a great success, dramatically reducing the usage of single use carrier bags while also giving retailers the opportunity to donate to charitable causes on a voluntary basis. Making charitable donations mandatory and extending the charge to bags for life will serve only to increase administrative burdens on retailers.”
ACS also opposes a proposal in the Bill to make mandatory the separation and disposal of waste for businesses. Lowman continued: “Retailers already have recycling procedures in place, so introducing regulations in this area is unnecessary. Additionally, almost half of stores in Wales are very small (less than 1,000sq ft), so additional requirements on the separation of waste will present a challenge to these retailers for whom storage space is at an absolute premium.”