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Wales ranks second globally for recycling, leading the UK

WALES is leading the UK in recycling and is ranked just behind Austria in global rankings published by Eunomia Research and Consulting and Reloop. Among the 48 countries included in the comparison, Northern Ireland is ranked 9th, England 11th, and Scotland 15th.

The ‘Global Recycling League Table – Phase One Report’ examined the recycling performance of these 48 countries, focusing on those with the highest recycling rates and many of the world’s largest economies. This report is being published today to coincide with World Environment Day.

The First Minister of Wales, Vaughan Gething, commented:

“It’s fantastic news that Wales has climbed to second in the world for recycling. This shows what we can achieve when people across Wales work together to deliver against ambitious targets, backed up by investment in our infrastructure.

“Thanks to the efforts of households and workplaces across Wales, we have transformed from a nation with very low rates of recycling at the beginning of devolution to one of the leading nations in the world and far ahead of the rest of the UK.

“This achievement belongs to all of us, and we are committed to improving recycling rates further still, with the number one spot in the world our next target.”

Climate Change Cabinet Secretary, Huw Irranca-Davies, added:

“This is excellent news and, with the action we are already taking, we are working towards challenging for the top spot.

“In rolling out the successful approach to household recycling to our workplaces, we are also taking action to tackle the climate and nature emergency, while providing important benefits to the economy, by capturing a resilient supply of high-quality recycled materials.

“This is so important for Wales because it means capturing high-quality recycling that is fed back into the economy and supports creating jobs, with a high percentage staying in Wales and the wider UK for processing.

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“It also helps us tackle the climate and nature emergencies by reducing our carbon emissions and avoiding the need to extract raw materials with the damage they can bring.

“I often talk about a Welsh way of doing things and the team effort which has led to today’s achievement is one we should all be rightly proud of – da iawn Cymru!”

AWD Group, a Welsh company playing a crucial role in the circular economy, has benefitted from the Welsh Government’s Circular Economy Fund pilot. Alun Wyn Davies, Managing Director of AWD Group Ltd, said:

“We take in 300 tonnes of mixed rigid plastics a week and we’re proud of the contribution we make towards our recycling targets in Wales.

“Cleaning and processing this material is hard work, but recycling these plastics is important because it would have historically gone to landfill and wouldn’t break down for hundreds of thousands of years.

“We’re proud to employ 38 staff members and will soon introduce a second shift which will create an extra 22 jobs. Most of the people who work here are from Neath Port Talbot. I’m from the area myself, so employing local people is important to me, especially with the current situation at Tata.

“Wales is truly on the map with these recycling figures, and that’s a huge achievement.”

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