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The Issue

Costs of waste disposal are rising and small firms face increasing pressure to minimise and recycle their waste.

Many small businesses have limited choice when it comes to disposal and recycling facilities that are affordable and practical. For example, many councils have restricted access to civic amenity sites, while private operators offer a limited service in many areas of the country. Any new rules on business waste need to factor in these practical challenges.

Action FSB has taken

  • We have called for recycling rules to be flexible to enable businesses working in different types of premises to manage their waste sensibly.

  • We’ve called for small businesses to get the right advice on waste and resource efficiency.

  • We’re working with regulators and government to make sure they understand the challenges faced by small firms and keep enforcement proportionate.

Our Goal

We want to make sure that small businesses have practical and affordable ways to manage their waste, backed up by a supportive regulatory regime.

Achievements in...



  • We secured a consistent approach to enforcement rules from councils and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for new recycling regulations.

  • We convinced the government to delay introducing food waste recycling rules for the smallest businesses for two years.

  • We worked with the Scottish Government, SEPA and Zero Waste Scotland to ensure information for businesses about recycling rules were designed for micro and small businesses and accessible online.

  • We’ve called for a review of the recycling regulations to check whether the market is working for small businesses and for a restriction on any new rules until the review is complete.

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