Well Done Wales

Wales is the worlds second best country for recycling house waste



Wales is the worlds second best country for recycling house waste, closely behind Germany. Unfortunately England is dragging behind many European countries, leading us to question, what tips can we take from the welsh. Policies brought in by the Welsh government and a target to be zero waste by 2050 have driven the country up the league table to come in just under Germany. With recycling rates of 63.8% for municipal solid waste, which includes household plastic and other packaging, Wales is set to become the world leader for recycling by next year, according to a report from the environmental analysts Eunomia.

But in England, where recycling rates have been flatlining, Michael Gove, the environment secretary, will be under pressure over rates of just 42.8%. England ranks 18th in the world, behind South Korea, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy, among others.

Countries that made it into the top 10 had recycling rates of more than 50%. There were key themes and policies shared by those countries doing well on recycling.

These include:

  • Mandatory separate collection of key dry recyclable materials.
  • Mandatory separate collection of bio waste.
  • Statutory targets for rates of recycling or the reduction of un-recycled waste.
  • Pay-as-you-throw charges.
  • Producer responsibility schemes, where producers fund the collection of key recyclables.
  • Taxes on landfill.
  • Deposit refund systems.

England only has two of these in place: a tax on landfill and separate collection of dry recyclable materials. Leading us to question, why are we not encouraging all of these policies in place, for the benefit of not just our planet bur for our future children and health.

Brad Davidson | OG