The Welsh Government is to look at how a deposit return scheme for drinks containers could be implemented, along with measures to make producers and retailers pay more towards waste management costs, as part of its ‘Refill Nation’ campaign.
It is also announcing another £15m of capital funding to improve local authority recycling collection systems and infrastructure, including for plastic.
The measures are part of the Government’s response to research on extended producer responsibility which focused on reducing and recycling waste and reducing litter from six types of food and drink packaging.
Environment minister Hannah Blythyn will today announce that the Government will consider amendments to the Producer Responsibility Obligations Packaging Waste Regulations so that producers and retailers pay a larger share of waste management costs.
The Government will also continue to work with the Treasury on a UK single-use plastics tax, while also considering a tax, levy or charge on single-use beverage cups for Wales. The mandatory use of reusable cups and a potential pilot is also being considered.
More feasibility studies to make sure a UK deposit scheme delivers optimum benefits for Wales, as well as gaining a greater understanding of the types and sources of litter in Wales, are also planned.
The Welsh Government has signed up to WRAP’s new Plastics Pact, a commitment by businesses to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated in the UK, the minister will also confirm.
Improved access to drinking water in public places and encouraging people to drink tap water are among measures to be announced as part of the ‘Refill Nation’ campaign.
The Government will work with non-profit campaign group City to Sea, water companies, other businesses and organisations to develop the campaign.
Blythyn said that Wales was a world leader in recycling, and that she wanted the country to become the world’s first ‘Refill Nation’, making tap water easily accessible.
“We were the first in the UK to bring in a plastic carrier bag charge. We can lead the way once again and make Wales the first in the world when it comes to recycling.”
WRAP Cymru, funded by the Welsh Government, is producing a Plastics Recycling Route Map for Wales, which will recommend action to increase the use of recyclate in plastic manufactured in Wales.