According to a report by independent consultancy Eunomia, which compiled recycling rate figures from around the world by looking at waste management policy, legislation and collection services, Wales places just behind Germany when it comes to recycling.
Eunomia suggests those countries that performed well had a number of common features. Comprehensive schemes to enable people to recycle, clear performance targets and policy objectives, funding for recycling, extended producer responsibility schemes, and financial and behavioural incentives to encourage citizens to recycle.
According to the Welsh government, which rated highly in all these categories, ‘if everyone lived the way we do in Wales, we would need nearly three planets to provide the resources needed. This is no longer an option for Wales, so we must reduce our waste.’
This thinking has encouraged the country to set tough recycling targets.
“We want to see a continued growth through an ongoing programme of engaging, inspiring and informative campaigning”
In August, Wales met a target for 64 per cent of waste to be recycled by 2019-20, the target for 2016-17 was 58 per cent.
‘The campaign aims to encourage consumers to recycle more things more often from all around the home’ said Recycle for Wales, the national recycling campaign supported and funded by the Welsh government. ‘Wales currently boasts the highest recycling rates in the UK and we want to see a continued growth through an ongoing programme of engaging, inspiring and informative campaigning.’
The Welsh government also set the ambitious target of aiming for no waste at all ending up in landfill by 2050, and considering the way the country is currently progressing, this seems more realistic by the day.
In fact, based on the trajectory of the reported recycling rates, Eunomia predicts that ‘Wales could overtake Germany as early as 2018.’
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