Skip To The Main Content
23 January 2012

New waste regulations mean big changes for most businesses, warns FSB

Reference number: SPUPR2301

Scottish Government moves to reduce dramatically the volume of waste going to landfill will have a significant impact on most Scottish businesses, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said today.  

New ‘Zero Waste' regulations, some elements of which will be implemented from next year, will mean households and businesses will have to separate and store materials that can be recycled from other waste. However, the FSB is stating that most businesses are unaware of the proposed changes, noting a worrying lack of detail about how these plans will be implemented across the country.  


In a submission to Holyrood's environment committee, the FSB says that if these proposals are going to become feasible, they will require significant investment and planning by both the private and public sectors – specifically the waste disposal industry and Scottish local authorities. All Scottish businesses are required to pay for their waste disposal and collection but these changes, the FSB warns, could see local charges increase with locally provided services and price structures varying significantly across the country.          


Andy Willox OBE, the Federation of Small Businesses' (FSB) Scottish Policy Convenor, said:

"The FSB is concerned that we have the most wide-reaching environmental legislation in decades due to be implemented next year and there are still big questions about how it'll be put into practice.

"All of our evidence suggests that Scottish small businesses are recycling more than they have done in the past. However if these proposals are going to work, we'll need to see local authorities put in place facilities that are practical, convenient, cost-effective and flexible.

"Soon, individual businesses will have to try and decide how they'll adapt to the consequences of these regulations. They'll need guidance and support. They'll also need an assurance that the cost of their waste collection will not be yet another spiralling overhead putting real pressure on businesses up and down the country.

"As our consultation response notes, small businesses are likely to be disappointed and angry if they feel that new regulations are used as a justification for local authorities exploiting business waste charges."