Wales sets national waste prevention targets

The Welsh Government has launched its Waste Prevention Programme, which sets out how businesses and households in Wales can reuse or extend the life of products and reduce the environmental impact of waste.

Natural Resources and Food Minister Alun Davies launched the Programme in the Terra Nova bar and kitchen, Cardiff Bay, where he met with representatives from brewer Brains and independent food wholesaler Castell Howell.  The two companies have worked together with WRAP to prevent food waste in their supply chain, in particular in the supply of red meat to 120 pubs and restaurants. 

The plan also sets out to help businesses and households save money.

Davies said: “I want a shift in thinking towards waste as a valuable resource.  We know that the true cost of one skip of mixed construction waste on a site is around £1,300, that clothing waste discarded by retailers is valued at around £27,000 per tonne.  The latest figures show the average Welsh household wastes £60 of edible food every month.  Wherever possible, we should be looking to make the most of these products before they become waste.”

 “I want us to break the link between waste generation and economic growth.  The Welsh Government is committed to delivering on the economy, and securing a healthy supply of natural resources is key to this.  These are not contradictory aims; there are huge financial savings to be made.”

The Programme includes annual waste reduction targets for key areas to 2050; reductions in household (1.2%), construction and demolition (1.4%), commercial (1.2%) and industrial waste (1.4%).  The reductions are based on a 2006/7 baseline.  It also outlines measures to encourage separate collection of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and work to encourage more repair, reuse and resale of items. 

The Minister also launched a specific plan for managing and treating commercial and industrial waste. The Industrial and Commercial Sector Plan outlines how the sector can reduce key waste streams both produced from their own premises and further along the supply chain, including waste generated by the consumer. 

Liz Gyekye

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