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Chapter 12: Sustainable Waste Management: The Challenge for Businesses in Wales
12 Sustainable waste management: the challenge for businesses in Wales Lorraine B. Frater Introduction Many businesses find the term ‘sustainable development’ (SD) abstract, a concept too complex to allow any connection. Yet it is one of the primary drivers behind a substantial number of current environmental laws and policies. Current English and Welsh waste strategies identify sustainability as a spur to innovation and an increasingly important factor in business competitiveness. These strategies and other government policies aim to achieve improved waste management practices from commercial and industrial organisations by linking sustainable waste management with production and operational efficiency. The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG), under its devolved powers, is constitutionally bound to pursue sustainable development. Section 121 of the Government of Wales Act 1998 makes Wales unique within Europe, the section requires that economic and environmental improvement must fulfil the criteria of sustainable development. This extends to the application of its waste strategy. Current waste management practices in Wales, however, do not comply with this unique statutory duty. Due to the majority of Welsh companies disposing large quantities of waste to landfill, Wales is near the bottom of the European league in waste management. To alter this position, WAG, in compliance with European and UK legislation has published Wise About Waste: The National Waste Strategy for Wales (Parts One and Two) (WAG, 2002a, b), which covers wastes outlined in Section 75 of the Environmental Protection Act, 1990 (EPA). The strategy meets the requirements for a National Waste Strategy for Wales as...
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