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It makes sense for Welsh to set landfill tax levels, says minister

Proposals to devolve powers to set landfill tax to the Welsh Assembly Government make “good sense”, Welsh environment minister John Griffiths has said.

Speaking to MRW, the minister described the recent proposals by Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones as “very positive in terms of our ability to shape environment policy”.

He added: “I think it does make good sense. Environment is an area that has devolved to Wales, so landfill tax would sit very well with our overall environmental policies.”

Griffiths, who was awarded the portfolio for environment and sustainable development in May, said he was keen to build a “narrative” that understands environmental effects on people’s everyday lives and pull together policy to address those effects.

He said: “I am keen to understand what matters to people in terms of their everyday quality of life, particularly in urban areas. It is everyday issues such as litter and fly-tipping, local green spaces and whether they are accessible and enjoyable. If we [focus on these issues] it would connect people more to their environment, and that makes it easier to get messages received and acted upon and effect behavioural change, which is very important.”

The minister admitted that behaviour change is “always a challenge”, but added: “The more they [the Welsh public] recycle, the more they understand the issues and the more they are in a recycling mindset. We’ve been very high-profile in stressing the importance of recycling, we have good recycling rates and ambitious targets, and people have bought into it.”

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