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Reuse and repair projects in North Wales to help Wales’ bid for world’s number one recycler

Prosiectau ail-ddefnyddio ac atgyweirio yng Ngogledd Cymru yn helpu Cymru i ddod yn ailgylchwr orau’r byd

Re-use and repair projects in North Wales are aiding a Welsh Government bid to make Wales a world leader in the Circular Economy.

The Circular Economy means resources and items are kept in use for as long as possible and waste is avoided through the use of recycled materials to make new products, or fixing broken goods instead of buying new.

Over the last year, Welsh Government has already rapidly increased funding for circular economy projects from £6.5m to £43 million. This has supported 180 initiatives in every part of Wales, bringing together communities to fix their broken goods, redistributed supermarket food that would have otherwise ended up in the bin, or recycled plastic pots into furniture for homes.

Wales is already ranked the third best country for recycling in the world – the new strategy aims to make Wales world number one.

A new Welsh Government strategy ‘Beyond Recycling’ published today, sets out how we can build on Wales’ success as a recycling nation in our response to the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate emergency.

This includes a commitment to change public sector procurement, worth £6.7bn per year in Wales, with low-carbon, resource-efficient businesses to be given priority in tenders that use money from the public purse.

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said:

“By helping us to manage our resources, the steps set out in ‘Beyond Recycling’ will help us to drive our green recovery to the coronavirus pandemic, Brexit and the impact of the climate emergency – as well as playing a vital and necessary part in our route to becoming a net-zero carbon nation by 2050.

“But as well as helping us to face those challenges, the strategy also sets out how this is a fantastic opportunity for Wales.

“Our Circular Economy can be world-leading, and help businesses not just to improve resource use at home, but also to compete internationally.

“There is already fantastic work taking place all over Wales in which it is playing a key role in our green recovery from the pandemic. We have a burgeoning green business sector helping to boost our economic resilience, and social enterprises and charities supporting communities to keep items in use as long as possible, and support households facing tight budgets.

“The global economy is looking at the potential of the Circular Economy, but here in Wales we are in a prime position to lead. I’m delighted that projects in North Wales are helping us in our mission.”


Notes to editors

Crest Co-operative, Conwy

Founded in 1998, Crest Co-operative has provided re-use and recycling services to communities in North Wales for more than 20 years.

As well as operating out of re-use shops in Llandudno Junction and Colwyn Bay, Crest also provides training for adults with learning difficulties through its sites, in skills such as customer services and repairs.

It also continues to offer work placements for adults with learning difficulties.

In partnership with Conwy County Borough Council, Crest has received Circular Economy funding to set up a new, Llandudno-based store named Happi-Tat.

Jay Martin, Strategic Business Development Manager at Crest, said: “As part of the Welsh Government’s effort to raise awareness and encourage more and more people to make use of repair services through the use of high-street premises, Happi-Tat will provide a space where items are up-cycled for resale, rather than just repaired.”

Jay added as well as providing a retail space aimed at highlighting the desirability of second-hand items, Happi-Tat would also contain a repair area with specialist repairs provided for a variety of items, and where members of the public would be able to bring in their own goods for repair – lengthening the amount of time before they’re disposed.

Jay Martin, Strategic Business Development Manager at Crest, is happy to speak to media and is available on 01492 596783; or on 07702 528 063.

Co-options, Denbighshire

Started in 1989, Co-options has provided work opportunities to adults with learning disabilities in Denbighshire for more than 30 years. It provides support to about 75 individuals each week, via a number of different social enterprises providing different services – including Bike Hub Rhyl, Derwen Cornel Farm, the Harbour Hub café and others.

About a quarter of Co-options’ income comes from its textiles collections service. Team members collect textiles from members of the public via a number of waste textiles deposit banks, and a collection service run alongside the waste collection team at Denbighshire County Council. Collected textiles are then re-sold via Co-options’ shop on the High Street in Rhyl.

The Circular Economy Funding provided to Co-options via the local authority will allow them to refurbish their high street store, including replacing all existing lighting with energy-efficient LED bulbs, and installing a new heating system.

The funds will also allow for the purchase of two new electric vehicles, which will carry out Co-options’ household textiles waste collections.

John Turner, manager and director at Co-options, said: “The grant has been really useful for us - it’s come at the right time for us during lockdown, and it’s been a little bit of a boost.

“Many of our textiles bins have seen better days, and this will allow us to refit them

“And while we can’t open our Rhyl store during lockdown, we have the time to make refurbishments, with a view to re-opening once we’re able to do so.”

John Turner, manager and director at Co-options, is also available to speak at 01745 851 454.

Other projects recently supported by the Circular Economy Fund in the area include:


  • 'Repair and Growth' spaces in Holyhead and Amlwch (Anglesey Council; Ffiws)


  • Save, re-use and recreate project (Gwynedd County Council; Antur Waunfawr)
  • CaerAilGyfle (Caernarfon Town Council)
  • Gwynedd Restoration and Re-use Partnership (Gwynedd County Council)
  • Llyfrgell y Pethau in Penygroes and Blaenau Ffestiniog (Gwynedd County Council)
  • Green Centre in Penygroes (Gwynedd County Council)
  • Making spaces and repair cafes (Ffiws; Gwynedd County Council)


  • Pilot Charity Shop refurbishment scheme (Denbighshire County Council)
  • Social Supermarket, Ruthin (Denbighshire County Council; Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council)
  • Improving re-use facilities at household waste recycling centres (Denbighshire County Council)


  • Repair and re-use centre, Buckley (Flintshire County Council; Groundwork North Wales; Refurbs Flintshire)


The strategy is focussed around six core themes of activity.

  • Driving innovation in materials use
  • Upscaling prevention and re-use
  • Building on our recycling record
  • Investing in infrastructure
  • Enabling community and business action
  • Aligning Government levers

We have also set out eight ambitious headline actions.

  • We will support businesses in Wales to reduce their carbon footprint by becoming more resource efficient.
  • We will provide the tools to enable community action.
  • We will phase out unnecessary single-use items, especially plastic.
  • We will eradicate avoidable food waste.
  • We will procure on a basis which prioritises goods and products which are made from remanufactured, refurbished and recycled materials or come from low carbon and sustainable materials like wood. 
  • We will strive to achieve the highest rates of recycling in the world.
  • We will reduce the environmental impact of the waste collection from our homes and businesses.
  • We will take full responsibility for our waste.