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Waste and recycling

Towards Zero Waste is Wales’ plan for reducing waste; so far Wales has exceeded targets set by the EU for waste reduction by some way. These are some of our achievements to date:

  • Wales is the now 3rd best recycling nation in the world. We lead the UK in recycling municipal waste by a significant margin. 
  • Since 2009 we have made progress in reducing household waste by an average of 1.8% per year, and the recycling rate of local authority collected waste has improved by 13.8%.
  • We met the EU 2020 target for biodegradable waste collected by local authorities and others sent to landfill eight years early.
  • We have also reduced the greenhouse gas emissions from waste every year, exceeding the target reduction of 3% per year set in our Climate Change Strategy.

Fighting plastic pollution

Shops in Wales charge a minimum of 5p for a carrier bag if you need one when you’re out shopping. We’ve been doing this since 2011 to encourage the re-use of plastic bags and to reduce the number of plastic bags going to of landfill. It is estimated that single use carrier bag use between 2011 and 2014 has declined by 71%. Plus money raised goes to environmental projects. 

WRAP Cymru, funded by 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 and the Welsh Government themselves are aiming for ales to become the first Refill Nation in the World. Free public access to drinking water will be available at points along the Wales Coast Path, to improve access to drinking water in public places across Wales and help reduce the use of single use plastics.