Welsh Government announces Circular Economy strategy

The Welsh Government has published an ambitious strategy to support a green recovery in Wales by transitioning into a ‘circular economy.

Wales is already ranked the third best country for recycling in the world – the new strategy aims to make Wales the world number one.

Setting out how it will lead Wales towards a circular economy, ‘Beyond Recycling’ details plans to keep resources and items in use for as long as possible and avoid waste.

The Welsh Government also 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 in Wales, and by reducing the amount of unnecessary single use items that we use and are often littered.

Moving to a circular economy, which eliminates waste by cutting down throw-away consumption and turning materials that would have been previously sent to landfill into a valuable resource, has never been more important. The strategy therefore also sets out how we can build on Wales’ success as a recycling nation in our response to the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and the climate emergency.

This includes a commitment to jumpstart a step change in public sector procurement, worth £6.7 billion per year in Wales, with low-carbon, resource-efficient businesses to be given priority in tenders that use money from the public purse.

Lesley Griffiths, 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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