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Waste prevention plan launched by Welsh government

Not content with delivering a superior recycling performance to England in recent times, Wales has also launched its waste prevention plan earlier than its neighbour, in what should be firmly positive news for UK recycling, Collect and Recycle (http://www.collectandrecycle.com) reports.

The launch, which took place in Cardiff on December 3, further signals the commitment of the Welsh government to a target of zero waste by 2050, with the plan setting out how the life of products can be extended by Welsh households and businesses. It should be of interest to any business in Wales currently recycling old computers, although the plan also makes clear an aim to reduce household and commercial food, paper and plastic packaging waste by 1.2 per cent annually until 2050.

Another of the plan’s stated targets by 2050 is a 1.4 per cent cut in industrial, construction and demolition waste, after they were subject to public consultation. In addition, it is intended that the repair, reuse and resale of everyday items will be encouraged, and separate collections of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) carried out.

The programme was launched at Welsh brewery Brains’ Terra Nova bar in Cardiff Bay by Minister for Natural Resources and Food Alun Davies, who said that the plan’s main objective was the decoupling of waste generation from economic growth. This, he said, would allow for a reduction in waste among households and businesses, alongside cost savings.

Meeting the Minister at the event were representatives from Brains and independent wholesaler Castell Howell, two firms that have worked alongside the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to prevent the entrance of food waste into their supply chain at 120 pubs and restaurants.

Mr Davies commented: “This is part of a much wider cross governmental approach not only with waste but a much wider economic focus on how we use resources. The fundamental ambition we wish to give is to create the conditions for a circular economy in Wales. We not only want to develop the size of our waste ambitions but also we say that waste is a resource that can be used again and again.”

Although Wales’ most recent overall waste recycling rate of 52 per cent compared favourably to England’s 43.2 per cent, the minister described competition with the rest of the UK as “unfair”, given that recycling and prevention targets were part of a wider initiative across the EU.

The Welsh waste prevention programme restates targets the 2010 ‘Towards Zero Waste’ initiative had already set out, in addition to complying with the EU Waste Framework Directive, which demands that member states develop waste prevention mandates of their own by December 12.

With Scotland having also released its Zero Waste Plan, much interest doubtless surrounds the publication of England’s own waste prevention programme, following criticism of the consultation paper in August. The leading business waste specialist, Collect and Recycle (http://www.collectandrecycle.com), will keep its clients updated on the very latest developments.