People in Wales are being encouraged to swap black for green as research into what’s still being put into black bags found a quarter of our waste is made up of food and another quarter of potentially recyclable material.
This could hold the key to reaching our recycling targets ahead of time and boosting the Welsh economy.
In fact, if just half of all the food and dry recyclables found in Wales’ bins were recycled, Wales would reach its statutory 2025 recycling target of 70 per cent nine years early.
The research by WRAP Cymru, on behalf of the Welsh Government, is published ahead of the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths’ first statement in the Senedd, during which she will set out her priority to create a more circular economy in Wales.
A circular economy is one where high-quality materials derived from waste products can be supplied back to Welsh manufacturers as secondary raw material and then productively used again and again.
It is estimated a circular economy has the potential to create around 30,000 jobs in Wales, with people employed to collect, transport, re-process and re-manufacture these materials, and could have an economic benefit of more than £2billion a year.
Our Towards Zero Waste strategy is all about making sure valuable material resources are kept in productive use for as long as possible and aligns to the circular economy concept.
The analysis by WRAP reveals the latest recycling trends in Wales, and while there has been a 14 per cent increase in recyclable materials being recycled from homes, bins across Wales are still being filled with items which can easily be recycled or reused.
As well as food waste and dry recyclables, the study found 17 per cent of waste electrical and electronic equipment and 50 per cent of clothing and textiles were sent to landfill.