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Wales 'sets recycling example to UK'

Recycling efforts in Wales have been praised by WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin who said the country was “big on ambition and action”.

Liz Goodwin

Goodwin, left, told the WRAP Cymru conference in Cardiff that people who assumed it was easier to encourage businesses to adopt more sustainable practices in a relatively small nation were mistaken.

“This would be selling Wales short. The truth is, Welsh businesses and local authorities face the same pressures and challenges as those elsewhere,” she said.

“The fact that so many are willing to put sustainability and resource efficiency at the heart of the business is testament to theirs and your enterprise, innovation and vision.”

She listed policies and issues on which Wales was taking the lead:

  • On UK recycling rates, Wales was in first place at 54%, and shows no signs of slowing
  • The first and only nation in the UK where every local authority offers a separate food, or food and green waste, collection
  • The first and only country in the UK with statutory recycling rates for municipal waste
  • The first country in the UK to introduce charges for single-use carrier bags

Goodwin added: “A small nation, yes, but one that is big on ambition and action. It’s a leader not a follower on resource efficiency.”

She said WRAP’s role was to help the Welsh Government, businesses and local authorities to secure a resource-efficient future.

The current Collaborative Change Programme, which she said had saved local authorities £10.7m, was a lesson to the rest of the UK while the Accelerating Reprocessing Infrastructure Development programme was another success.

WRAP Cymru had not faced a cut in its budget and was in a strong position to play a part as WRAP moves to charitable status in the coming months.

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