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

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

Re-use and repair projects in Powys 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 Powys are helping us in our mission.”

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Notes to editors

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Projects recently backed by the Circular Economy Fund in the area include:

  • Building re-use shops at Household Waste Recycling Centres at Ystradgynlais and Llandrindod (Powys County Council)
  • Creating a repair and re-use hub, Llandrindod Wells (Llandrindod Wells Town Council)
  • Promotion of the re-use and repair in Newtown (Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council; Circular Economy Mid Wales)

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.