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Wales sets out circular economy drive

The Welsh Government is looking to consolidate the nation’s position as one of the leading recyclers with a new strategy to focus on reuse, repair and re-manufacture. It aims particularly to tackle food waste and the unnecessary single use of plastics.

Ministers have published ‘Beyond Recycling’ to drive Wales towards a circular economy (CE). The country is currently ranked third best for recycling in the world and the new strategy looks to claim the number one position. Funding projects with a CE focus in the past year has increased from £6.5 million to £43 million (EUR 7.5 – 50 million).

Lesley Griffiths, the minister for environment, energy and rural affairs, says: ‘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.’

The strategy includes a commitment to ‘a step change’ in public sector procurement, worth £6.7bn per year in Wales, with low-carbon, resource-efficient businesses given priority in tenders that use money from the public purse. Griffiths says a more CE can 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,’ she adds. ‘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 CE but here in Wales we are in a prime position to lead.’

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