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Wales will phase out the use of single-use plastics as part of its ambition to become the world-leading nation for recycling.

First published:
20 December 2019
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The Welsh Government is today publishing ambitious new plans to take the next steps on our journey towards zero waste, net zero carbon country that uses a fair share of natural resources.

Since devolution, Wales has become a global leader in recycling. Every household has played its part to help Wales become the top recycling nation in the UK; the third best in Europe and the fourth best in the world. Recycling is what we do as a nation. 

The Welsh Government will today publish Beyond Recycling which aims to move Wales towards a circular economy – keeping resources in use for as long as possible and avoiding waste. The aim is not only to reach zero waste by 2050, but also to take action on the Climate Emergency and seize the economic opportunities to create a greener, more equal and more prosperous Wales. 

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn, has signalled the Welsh Government’s determination to drive the transformational change needed to make the circular economy in Wales a reality. Announcing an additional £6.5 million in circular economy funding for local authorities and other publicly funded bodies alongside the consultation. This will support action to accelerate Wales’ shift to a circular economy and builds on the funding for businesses announced earlier this year. 

She said:

Wales is already leading the way in the UK when it comes to recycling, but I want us to go further and take the next step. We’re on a journey towards becoming a circular economy where waste is avoided and resources are kept in use as long as possible.

Our communities are what make Wales and it was fantastic to launch the consultation in Llangollen. It’s a community that’s come together to reduce plastic, tackle climate change and take advantage of the business opportunities from using reusable and sustainable materials.

The consultation is being launched in Llangollen, which has achieved plastic-free status. Schools and businesses in the town are championing issues around climate change and people are coming together to make a difference. 

Beyond Recycling, sets out eight ambitious actions:

  • become the world leader in recycling
  • phase out single use plastic
  • invest in clean technology for materials collection
  • make more efficient use of our food
  • prioritise the purchasing of wood, remanufactured and recycled content
  • enable communities to take collective action
  • create the conditions for business to seize the opportunities
  • take full responsibility for our waste

Urging people to have their say, the Deputy Minister added:

It is your engagement and action we need now – you are the recyclers, you are the groups working to improve your communities, you are the businesses finding new uses for materials that were once sent to landfill.

We want a dialogue, it is your chance to let us know what you think about our proposals and to come up with new ideas and activities. We will be holding events online and in communities across Wales, and there are resources to help you come together and respond.

I want to hear from as many people and organisations as possible. Our collective responses can make a big difference.”

Further information on the consultation and eight ambitious headline actions visit: