WRAP chief praises Wales’ green achievements

Wales is leading the green agenda and is on track to secure a resource efficient future, according to WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin.

Goodwin announced her views during her keynote speech today (16 October) at the WRAP Cymru conference in Cardiff.

She said that Wales had secured many resource-efficient ‘firsts’.

Goodwin told delegates: “On UK recycling rates, Wales is in first place at 54%, and with no signs of slowing. Wales is the first and only nation in the UK where every local authority offers a separate food, or food and green waste collection.

“Something I believe is essential if we are to maximise our chances in reducing food waste going to landfill. Something too that I would like to see adopted throughout the UK.”

Goodwin also said that Wales is the first and only country in the UK with statutory recycling rates for municipal waste and Wales was the first country in the UK to introduce charges for single use carrier bags.

She also said that Caernavon-based GwyriAD anaerobic digestion plant – developed and operated by Biogen – has become Wales first producer of certified biofertiliser. The project will see the plant turn 11,000 tonnes of food waste per year into green electricity for 700 homes.

She said: “A small nation yes, but one that is big on ambition and action.”

Goodwin explained that “resource efficiency in supporting green growth is firmly on the agenda” for the Welsh Government and that Wales was in a strong position to work towards a resource efficient future.

However, she acknowledged that Welsh businesses and local authorities face the same pressures and challenges “as those elsewhere” when working towards a resource efficient future.

She said future supply challenges brought about by rising population and consumption, resource efficiency will play an even bigger role in the future. She also said the UK faced a future squeeze on supplies, compounded by increased demand.

Goodwin added: “This means we all have to be savvier in how we operate, and think innovatively about how we use our resources.”

She said that WRAP would help the Welsh Government, Welsh businesses and local authorities to tackle these challenges.

Elsewhere, Goodwin reiterated that WRAP is currently developing proposals for the next Courtauld Commitment – a voluntary agreement aimed at improving resource efficiency and reducing the carbon and wider environmental impact of the grocery sector.

Speaking about the next phase of the Courtauld Commitment, she said: “It would seek to equip the UK economy and society to meet the global challenges on food sustainability. Courtauld has many fans.

“But rest assured a new Courtauld would be wider in remit and reach. Yes it would contain major players, but it would have wider collaboration, a role for signatories and supporters.”

Liz Gyekye

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie