Climate Change Minister for Wales announces “major step” towards zero waste and net zero

Wales Cardiff

Climate Change Minister Julie James has announced plans to increase the quality and level of recycling from businesses, the public and third sectors in Wales, to ensure they separate key recyclable materials in the same way the majority of Wales’ householders already do.

The Welsh Government says the plans will build on the “vast improvements” Wales has seen in recycling rates which it credits to its £1bn investment since devolution.

Municipal recycling rates in Wales have grown from 4.8% in 1998-1999, to more than 65% in 2021-22, the Welsh Government says. It continues that the increase in the recycling rates saves around 400,000 tonnes of CO2 per year from being released into the atmosphere.

The Welsh Government says the proposals support its target to achieve zero waste in Wales by 2050 by keeping resources in use.

For individual businesses and organisations, the reforms will help support the move away from waste disposal being a significant cost, the Welsh Government says, to one where that waste material is instead effectively captured and returned into the economy.

These reforms are a key part of how we can build a stronger, greener economy.

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, said: “In the World Cup of recycling, as the third best recycling nation, we’d be a shoo-in for the semi-finals. But taking a page out of Cymru’s book, we want to go further.

“These proposals will deliver significant carbon savings, increase consistency in the way recyclable materials are collected across Wales and bring significant positive benefits for the economy.

“During this cost of living crisis especially, ensuring high-quality material can go back into the Welsh economy is a key way in which we can improve the resilience of our domestic supply chains.

“Quite simply, these reforms are a key part of how we can build a stronger, greener economy – creating a more prosperous Wales, now and for future generations.”

The consultations will be open for 12 weeks, closing on Wednesday, February 15 2023.

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