The Welsh Government wants to work towards a ‘paradigm shift’ in Wales. A Roadmap sets out the potential actions and interventions required to support increases in the amount of preparation for reuse that takes place in Wales, within the local authority collected municipal waste stream. The Roadmap presents a view on the level of action and intervention that would be needed to achieve different levels of preparation for reuse, including a transformative paradigm shift in Wales.
The objectives of this were:
- To review research to date into reuse and to summarise the current position (including case study examples, from Wales, the rest of the United Kingdom, and overseas).
- To describe and model reuse scenarios from the present day until 2050 and set out a series of actions that would enable those scenarios to be realised, along with their resulting impacts. The scenarios were:
- Welsh good practice
- International good practice
- Maximum potential technical feasibility
- Paradigm shift
Resource Futures was commissioned as a subcontractor to carry out this work for WRAP Cymru which was funded by Welsh Government. The approach was to complete a literature review and conduct telephone interviews with key stakeholders in the reuse sector, including local government, NGOs and commercial enterprises. Then using WasteDataFlow data, model and present the impacts of the four reuse scenarios and to draw conclusions and make recommendations for further research.
The Roadmap estimated the combined effect of Wales achieving the recycling targets set out in Towards Zero Waste under each scenario.
The paradigm shift, as modelled, should contribute significantly towards achieving the target of zero waste by 2050. Modelling a zero waste scenario shows it would avoid roughly a further 500,000 tonnes of residual waste that would otherwise be disposed of in the baseline from 2019 to 2050, equating to £18 million in further savings from avoided waste treatment costs.
Welsh Environment Minister, Hannah Blythyn marked the roadmap’s publication with a visit to FRAME Pembrokeshire, one of a number of Welsh third sector organisations involved in preparing items collected by local authorities for reuse. She said:
“Reuse helps reduce the strain on our valuable resources. My ambition is to create a more circular economy in Wales, making more of what we consume here and becoming a global centre of excellence for reuse. I’m proud that Wales is the top nation for household recycling in the UK and third in the World. The roadmap will be a vital source of information as we work towards our goal of becoming a zero waste nation by 2050.”