Circular Economy Unveiled In Wales

Wales has become the third-best country in the world for recycling, but the Welsh Government is not wanting to settle for being number three. The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has made public a plan that aims to support green recovery by focusing on the principles of a circular economy and to get the country to number one.

Let’s Recycle reports that the project has been named Beyond Recycling, and it lays out the roadmap by which the Welsh Government is planning to lead the country towards a circular economy.

A circular economy is a system that revolves around using and reusing resources as much as possible in order to eliminate waste. This creates a closed-loop system that follows a reuse, repair, remanufacture, and recycling mindset to minimise resource depletion and reduce pollution.

The government intends to make a wide range of changes to meet its ambitious goals, especially in the public sector procurement area, favouring deals with environmentally-conscious businesses.

There are many contributing factors to achieving this, according to Lesley Griffiths. Government efforts, support from local authorities, and access to funding are some of the main factors, but the most important one is related to the people and businesses of Wales, which have started to take recycling very seriously.

The lockdown measures and the extra time spent at home caused a major shift to online shopping, which brought an awareness of the increase of single-use items, and an increase in recycling.

Businesses have taken an active approach towards minimising waste and reducing their carbon footprint by making small, yet important changes to their waste-management process, even when faced with challenges.

A challenge being faced by businesses is the lack of space needed to create dedicated waste collection areas. This can be tackled by using waste compacting devices that crush plastic, cardboard, and metal cans into smaller shapes that take less space and can be successfully stored even in small facilities.

Beyond Recycling is an ambitious project that aims to make Wales the leading country in reusing, repairing, and manufacturing using materials that would otherwise be disposed of. Through this program, the government aims to invest in the necessary infrastructure and enable businesses and individuals to take action and contribute to the main goal.

One of the main promises being made by the Welsh Government is to support businesses in receding their carbon footprint. This will include collaborating with and promoting businesses that play an active role in reducing waste.

Funds for circular economy projects have increased from £6.5 million to £43 million, as the government hopes to encourage businesses to invest in eco-friendly initiatives.

The project is expected to not only help the country manage its resources but also to facilitate green recovery after the many challenges it has faced in the last year, including the pandemic and Brexit.

Griffiths has big hopes that the circular-economy model Wales is now using will become world-leading at one point in the future.

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