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Hands-on help to a circular economy

bettina gilbert

A big part of WRAP Cymru’s work is to help businesses move towards the zero waste milestone. I have been looking at what we can do to strengthen our relationships with the resource management sector to ensure the support we offer is meeting their needs.

One way we are doing this is by reviewing what we have delivered in the past, to learn from our successes and find common themes to take forward. We want to ensure the needs of the sector are being met through activities such as developing guidance specifically for the Welsh resource management sector which focuses on commercial and industrial (C&I) collections.

We have learned much from the success of the support provided to local authorities in Wales through the Collaborative Change Pro­gramme, with the aim of increasing household collections and the transition to separated col­lections. The next step is to ensure that com­mercial providers are in a position to respond to the upcoming 2019 regulatory changes and can benefit from the experience and best prac­tice developed by WRAP Cymru.

Part of the role of the public sector is to lead by example and promote positive changes to businesses and communities. My aim is for our team to utilise tools developed for council sup­port and adapt these for C&I collections and smaller operators.

I will be working closely with colleagues who specialise in municipal collections to ensure that we have the highest quality evidence base and an open dialogue with industry. Our aim is to equip the industry with facts, information and guidance to support the implementation of government policy, and to listen to what is happening on the ground and feed this back to our funders.

WRAP Cymru has a team of business account managers who work closely with the resource management sector to identify its development needs. This area of work focuses on materials that are of the highest volumes in the C&I waste stream – food, paper, card, pack­aging and plastics – and seeks to increase the segregated collections of these materials. We do this by working with companies to develop pro­jects specific to their needs and then engage experts to deliver technical support that over­comes barriers to increasing the quality and quantity of materials collected.

Such projects can consider a range of operational issues, from input and output markets, to route planning and the optimisation of col­lections, even support with determining equip­ment specifications. The aim is to develop the right support package for a business to increase the volume of high-quality segregated materials collected.

We also work on the market development side, where we help public bodies and the National Procurement Service to instil sustain­able development practices and support them in meeting the goals of the Well-being of Future Generations Act. This means encouraging organisations to think differently about how they purchase products and services, and how procurement can be used as a driver for cost savings and the transition to a circular economy and zero waste.

In the manufacturing sector, WRAP Cymru works with businesses to increase the demand for recycled content for products manufactured in Wales. Part of this is driven by our circular economy task force and the plastics working group, along with the provision of technical support directly to manufacturers, to help them identify suitable material supplies and then incorporate them into their products in a cost-effective way.

SMEs in the resource management sector and manufacturing businesses of any size can get in touch to find out more about accessing WRAP Cymru support. For more detail see:

Bettina Gilbert is programme area manager for WRAP Cymru’s Sustainable Resource Man­agement Programme

Driven to success

Originally from California, Bettina Gilbert has been with WRAP since 2010. In her previous role of programme area manager for WRAP’s sustainable products team in Wales, her work included managing a number of successful resource efficiency support programmes for businesses.

She is currently studying for an MBA at Warwick University, and has a background in market research and knowledge management – she has delivered research services in the UK and the US for the pharmaceutical, manufacturing, education, biochemical, property development, technology, media and public sectors.


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