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Welsh Gov aims to make Wales ‘best country in the world’ for recycling

02 Mar 2021 3 minute read
Picture by Dave Goodman (CC BY 2.0).

The Welsh Government is aiming to make Wales the “best country in the world” for recycling.

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs has published the government’s strategy to support a green recovery by transitioning into a ‘Circular Economy’, to deal with the triple challenge of the pandemic, climate change and Brexit.

In going ‘Beyond Recycling’, it sets out how it will lead Wales towards a Circular Economy, in which resources and items are kept in use for as long as possible and waste is avoided.

Wales is already ranked the third best country for recycling in the world, but the Welsh Government says it intends to go much further.

It wants to be world-leading in reusing, repairing and manufacturing from what would otherwise be thrown away, by cutting the amount of food wasted in Wales, and by reducing the amount of unnecessary single use items that we use and are often littered.

The government says it intends to make changes to public sector procurement, worth £6.7bn per year in Wales, with low-carbon, resource-efficient businesses to be given priority in tenders that use money from the public purse.

Over the last year, it has increased funding for circular economy projects from £6.5m to £43 million.


This has supported 180 initiatives in every part of Wales, bringing together communities to fix their broken goods, redistribute wholesome food that would have otherwise ended up in the bin, or repurposed pots and plastics into furniture for homes.

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “By helping us to manage our resources, the steps set out in ‘Beyond Recycling’ will help us to drive our green recovery to the coronavirus pandemic, Brexit and the impact of the climate emergency – as well as playing a vital and necessary part in our route to becoming a net-zero carbon nation by 2050.

“But as well as helping us to face those challenges, the strategy also sets out how this a fantastic opportunity for Wales.

“Our Circular Economy can be world-leading, and help businesses not just to improve resource use at home, but also to compete internationally.

“There is already fantastic work taking place all over Wales in which it is playing a key role in our green recovery from the pandemic.

“We have a burgeoning green business sector helping to boost our economic resilience, and social enterprises and charities supporting communities to keep items in use as long as possible, and support households facing tight budgets.

“The global economy is looking at the potential of the Circular Economy, but here in Wales we are in a prime position to lead.”

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