The senior waste official in Wales says he believes that proposal from the European Commission for 70% recycling rates is achievable in his nation.
Dr Andy Rees, head of waste strategy for the Welsh Government, was giving evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Committee.
Despite being asked several times on whether the UK as a whole would be able to meet the 2030 targets, or indeed the 2020 ones, Rees stressed that as a civil servant in Wales he could not comment on the situation outside the country.
He said that Wales was already achieving 52% recycling rates, which exceeds the 2020 target, thanks to additional funding for local authorities to tackle waste.
Rees said that local authorities get £70 a year more than in England to deal with waste issues, and that money was ring-fenced to be spent only on waste and recycling.
A separate collection service for food waste also helped drive up the Welsh rate: “Ninety-six per cent of households in Wales have a separate collection for food waste. It really made the difference and has added between five and six points to the rate.”
Asked whether Wales used a ‘carrot or stick’ method to encourage householders, Rees explained that targeted communications via leafleting, newspapers and social media (see above) had worked and that negated the need for the ‘stick’ approach.