If you’re reading this in Wales, give yourself a pat on the back. Wales has the third-best recycling rate in the world – what makes it so good?
By 2016, Wales had already met its target to have 64% of its waste recycled by 2020 – four years ahead of schedule.
Welsh Environment Minister, Hannah Blythyn AM said:
“We’re incredibly proud of what Wales has achieved as a direct result of working with local authorities on our collaborative scheme”
Most of Wales’ 22 local authorities are signed up to the Collections Blueprint, which standardises collection of refuse and recycling. She continues:
“It’s not just about working with local authorities and manufacturers but also about how you talk to the general public. We’ve seen a culture shift in Wales. People have made sorting recycling part of their normal home life. We’ve worked with schools and harnessed the pester power of children”
Wales is working with various manufacturers and producers to make sure that packaging is recyclable and reusable, but Blythyn reiterates that ‘clear labelling is really important to make it understandable for consumers’.
According to Michael Gove, ‘there is much we can learn from Wales and our work with Wrap to produce a Framework for Greater Consistency in England, following the Welsh government’s single blueprint for recycling.’
Gove envisages that every household in England can recycle a common set of dry recyclable materials and food waste, collected in one of three different ways. ‘In the 25-year Environment Plan, we also set out the need to accelerate change towards greater consistency in materials collected for recycling.’
But is this realistic? Do you think your local authority is doing enough to encourage recycling? How do you think the government can make it easier for us to recycle?
I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg – manufacturers, restaurants, cafes and retailers need to take action so we can make informed purchases.