Posted: Tue 8th May 2018

Environment minister sets out plans for Wales to become first ‘Refill Nation’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn has announced plans which she hopes will see Wales take the lead and become the world’s first ‘refill nation.’ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

As part of a series of measures the Delyn AM announced today – work will get underway to improve access to drinking water in public places across Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

City to Sea, a group campaigning against single-use plastics  – will work with the Welsh Government on developing the refill campaign for Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The government also wants to work with other parts of the UK on a deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Further feasibility studies will be undertaken to ensure a UK DRS delivers optimum benefits for Wales, as well as gaining a greater understanding of the types and sources of litter in Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Hannah Blythyn also announced an additional £15 million of funding to further improve Local Authority recycling collection systems and infrastructure, including for plastics. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Minister confirmed the Welsh Government has signed up to WRAP’s new ‘Plastics Pact’, a commitment by businesses to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated in the UK. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Welsh Government will be working with Welsh businesses, public sector, charities and major events to help make Wales free of unnecessary single use plastic. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

WRAP Cymru, funded by Welsh Government, is producing a “Plastics Recycling Route Map” for Wales, which will recommend action to increase the use of recyclate in plastic manufactured in Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Minister said: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Wales is a world leader in recycling. We are the best in the UK, second in Europe and third in the world. I am keen to build on this success. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I’m pleased to announce a range of measures to further boost recycling and reduce waste, including £15m for Local Authorities to improve their recycling rates across Wales. I also want Wales to become the World’s first ‘Refill Nation’, making tap water easily accessible across the whole of Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I am currently considering Wales’ involvement in a UK-wide deposit return scheme. Developing approaches on a UK wide basis can be less complicated for consumers and better for businesses who have told us they prefer this approach, particularly as we prepare for Brexit. I am also considering making changes to regulations so that producers and retailers pay a larger share of waste management costs. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We continue to work with HM Treasury on a UK single-use plastics tax. At the same time we will continue to consider a tax, levy or charge on single-use beverage cups for Wales. The mandatory use of reusable cups and a potential pilot is also something I am considering. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We were the first in the UK to bring in a plastic carrier bag charge. We can lead the way once again and make Wales the first in the world when it comes to recycling.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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