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Review of 2017 - July

Andy Rees, head of waste strategy at the Welsh Government, had been given the Editor’s Award at the National Recycling Awards in recognition of the strides taken by the administration in making Wales one of the top three recyclers in the world. 

He marked the occasion to announce that the Welsh Government was considering an 80% recycling target for household waste “sometime after 2025”. A landfill disposal tax for Wales, outlined in a bill, would come into effect in April 2018 and would also apply to illegal waste sites. The aspect would be followed by the chancellor Philip Hammond in his November Budget.

Research from Zero Waste Scotland suggested that councils in Scotland could save as much as £6.2m in residual waste disposal costs if a bottle deposit return scheme was introduced. In a debate in the House of Lords, peers called for a simpler household collection system in the UK.

WRAP published two reports, on sustainable clothing and WEEE. Both included detailed surveys of consumer habits and views. The charity also contributed to an investigation by the London Assembly’s environment committee into the mayor’s waste strategy.

Also this month, MRW reported contrary views on metal theft. The National Crime Agency said incidents of such crime had declined while the British Metals Recycling Association said anecdotal reports from its members revealed that crime was actually on the increase. 

No monthly report at this time would be complete without a reference to China ratcheting up the pressure on foreign exporters and domestic importers by threatening to ban the import of plastic scrap, unsorted paper and other selected material grades from the new year.

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