Wales unveils new sustainability plan for C&D waste

A new plan that will help Wales manage its construction and demolition (C&D) waste more sustainably has been launched by Welsh Environment Minister John Griffiths.

The construction and demolition sector plan, which was announced today (November 8) is expected to form a “crucial” part of the Welsh Government’s strategy to meet its ambitious zero waste targets as set in its waste strategy ‘Towards Zero Waste’ in 2010.

These include a target for Wales to recycle 70% of its waste by 2025 and to become a zero waste nation by 2050, as part of this overall objective the Welsh Government has developed plans for each sector to follow to help Wales achieve its targets.

According to Griffiths, the construction and demolition sector is the latest to be targeted as it currently accounts for 14% of the ecological footprint of Wales’ total waste, making it the third highest impact sector.

He said: “This means that improvements to waste management within the construction and demolition sector could have a significant impact on Wales’ overall performance on waste.”

It is thought that the plan will provide a boost Wales finances, as it sets out a number of proposals around how waste from within the construction and demolition sector could be managed more sustainably and more affordably to ensure the best economic outcomes for Wales and Welsh business.

The plan focuses on four key areas, including waste prevention, reuse by preserving waste materials, recycling and sustainable treatment and disposal.

Commenting on the plan, Griffiths said: “This plan encourages waste reduction, and the preservation of old building materials such as bricks, window and door frames so they can be reused. It also encourages the development of an infrastructure for reuse between construction and demolition contractors and the third sector, measures that can only be good news in these difficult economic times.

“We know that the construction sector is vital to Wales’ economy, contributing 30% to Wales GDP. This means as a sector it has the potential to be a powerful agent for change in making Wales a much more sustainable country. I hope that this plan will encourage positive and sustainable change within the sector.”

Constructing Excellence in Wales helped in the development of the plan, with its chief executive Milica Kitson, describing their role as “the link between government and industry” as it brought together a wide range of construction and demolition practitioners, who have already made a contribution to the development of this stage of plan.

Kitson added: “We know that they are eager to continue to contribute to the introduction of the sector plan and will be looking forward to ensuring that the consultation process is a success.”

Following the unveiling on the initiative, a 13 week consultation on the plan has been launched by the Welsh Government. The plan can be found on the Welsh Government website here.

Carys Matthews

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