Record year for Wales’ recycling as target is exceeded

The recycling rate for Wales has reached a record high, with the country as a whole exceeding the latest recycling target and achieving 65.14 per cent for 2019/20.

Last year was the first year of the 64 per cent statutory recycling target rate, having previously been at 58 per cent since 2015/16. The breakdown by local authority shows 18 of the 22 in Wales have delivered against the increased target in the very first year. With three local authorities in Wales having achieved a level which exceeds the next target of 70 per cent by 2025.

A total of 1.51 million tonnes of material was generated within local authorities in Wales in 2019-20, a decrease of almost 2.0 per cent on 2018-19. Nearly a million tonnes (984,935 tonnes) of which was recycled, re-used or composted.

Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “For Wales as a whole to exceed the target in the first year is testament to the considerable effort everyone has put in. We could not have achieved a record year for recycling in Wales without the hard work of our local authorities and households across Wales and I’d like to particularly congratulate those authorities who have exceeded the next target five years early.

“Wales is already a recycling nation and we are rightly proud of our achievements. These figures not only show that we are on track in meeting our goal of zero waste by 2050, but also show the progress being made towards a circular, low carbon economy.”

Earlier this year we spoke to Hannah Blythyn, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, about the 2020 ban on single use plastics in Wales and ambitions for zero waste by 2050. Read our Q&A here.