The ‘Beyond Recycling’ strategy aims to support a green recovery in Wales as the nation deals with the triple challenge of the pandemic, climate change and Brexit.
Moving towards a circular economy will see the elimination of waste by cutting down throwaway consumption and turning materials that would have been previously sent to landfill into a valuable resource.
That includes reusing, repairing and manufacturing from what would otherwise be thrown away, by cutting the amount of food wasted in Wales and reducing the amount of unnecessary single-use items that we use and are often littered.
The government plans to jumpstart a step change in public sector procurement, worth £6.7 billion per year in Wales, with low carbon, resource-efficient businesses to be given priority in tenders that use money from the public purse.
Over the last year, the Welsh Government has increased funding for circular economy projects from £6.5 million to £43 million, which has supported 180 initiatives across the country.
They include projects such as fixing broken goods, redistributing food that would have otherwise ended up in the bin or repurposed pots and plastics into furniture for homes.
Lesley Griffiths, 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 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.”