Welsh environment minister Jane Davidson spoke to edie.net at Futuresource last week ahead of today’s (June 21) offical launch of the country’s new waste strategy Towards Zero Waste.

While the minister was keen to point out she was ‘broadly supportive’ of methods that get results, she also made it clear the Welsh would not go down the route of either fining people for not recycling or paying them for doing it.

The minister, therefore, completely ruled out adopting a scheme like RecycleBank which looks increasingly likely to be used across London after being endorsed by mayor Boris Johnson and his waste advisor Isobel Dedring.

Ms Davidson said: “In England the focus is on how to make people recycle more – in Wales we recognise it’s more important to stop this waste in the first place.

“We believe that our plans – including separate food waste collections and smaller bins – will do this.

“Costly measures like those adopted in England, such as retaining a weekly bin collection or rewarding people for throwing more recyclable rubbish away, won’t.”

Welsh targets will aims for at least 70% of waste recycled by 2025 and cuts to its carbon footprint -by 27%.

The minister also said Wales is the only country in the UK to have increased its recycling rate by more than 30% in the last decade, while in comparison, England’s recycling rate increased by 25%.

Wales was also the first country in the UK to introduce the Landfill Allowance Scheme and has met, or exceeded, every target set out under it.

The minister also said a ‘typical Welsh household’ wastes around £50 per month buying food that ends up in the bin, and tackling that issue would reduce the amount of waste produced in the country.

Luke Walsh

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