Wales committed to recycling

John GriffithsResults from an online survey carried out by Waste Awareness Wales at the end of last year shows that 78 per cent of people in Wales are ‘committed recyclers’ – someone who recycles even when it involves additional effort such as taking waste to a recycling centre or separating it out into different types of material – compared to a UK average of 74 per cent. 

The survey, which was commissioned by Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), also found that 88 per cent of people in Wales are aware of food waste recycling services compared to a UK average of just 53 per cent. In addition, more than half of people in Wales (58 per cent) are now ‘accomplished recyclers’, which means that they recycle six or more different types of waste always or most of the time, in contrast to a UK average of 48 per cent.

Commenting on the survey, Environment Minister John Griffiths said: “We already know that Wales is leading the way on recycling within the UK and I am delighted that people in Wales are prepared to go the extra mile to ensure high quality recycling.

“There’s no question that we have already made excellent progress in increasing recycling rates in Wales however we know we have lots of work to do if we are to meet our targets of 70 per cent recycling by 2025 and zero waste by 2050. This report shows that we are on the right road to making that ambition a reality.”

Andrew Osborne, Recycling Officer for Waste Awareness Wales, added: “These statistics are really encouraging, and show that many of us understand the importance of making the most of our kerbside collection services and council recycling centres.  People are getting to grips with new services like food waste collections and we are doing well at recycling materials like glass, card and plastics.

“However, despite these survey results showing that most of us consider ourselves to be doing our bit, there is still a gap between those who are aware of the services available to them and those who actually make full use of these services. We all need to take a personal responsibility for our waste.” 

Osborne went on to note that items less frequently recycled include small electrical appliances, textiles and furniture and although disposing of these kinds of items via a charity shop is a good idea, “we should remember that even if the items aren’t of good enough quality to be passed on they can always be taken to a local civic amenity site to be recycled”.

For details of where recycling banks are for all types of waste, go to Waste Awareness Wales’ Recycling and Reuse Locator map: