How Wales could become the world's number one recycling country

Wales is already ranked the third best country at recycling in the world. Credit: ITV Wales

The Welsh Government has set out how it plans to make Wales the world's best recycling country.

Wales is already ranked the third best country at recycling in the world.

The new strategy aims to support a 'circular economy' - when resources and items are kept in use for as long as possible and waste is avoided.

It's part of plans to boost a green recovery through the triple challenge of the pandemic, climate change and Brexit.

It also hopes to speed up Wales' target of becoming a net-zero carbon nation by 2050.

Experts have warned that the extreme weather and severe flooding experienced in Wales over the last year will become more frequent as a result of climate change.

The strategy comes as part of plans for Wales to become a net-zero carbon nation by 2050. Credit: ITV Wales
  • How will it work?

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

It has made six core pledges, including investing in infrastructure, enabling community and business action and aligning government levers.

To do this, the government has said it will support businesses to reduce their carbon footprint by becoming more resource efficient.

It has also pledged to provide the tools to enable community action, to phase out unnecessary single-use items, especially plastic, and prioritise goods and products made from refurbished, remanufactured and recycled materials or those that come from sustainable materials like wood.

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

Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs

This includes a commitment to enabling low-carbon, resource-efficient businesses to be given priority access to public sector procurement worth £6.7bn per year.

The Welsh Government said it has already increased funding for circular economy projects from £6.5m to £43m.

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: "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."

Toogoodtowaste, a Rhondda Cynon Taf-based service that collects unwanted household goods and re-sells them at affordable prices is set to receive some of the funding.

150,000

The number of items collected in 2020 - 80% were re-used and 20% recycled.

Chief Executive Officer Shaun England said: "If someone lives in Treorchy and is looking to recycle something, they either have to travel two or three miles into the valley, or to the community recycling centre in Pen Dinas.

"That might be a problem for people who are unable to drive or don’t have access to a car.

"We’re very grateful for this funding, as an increase to shipping containers at our Treorchy site will allow more people to make donations of unwanted and recyclable or re-usable items on foot."