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Wales named as second best recycling nation in the world

Wales has been named as second in the world for recycling nation in a new study published today.

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Wales has been named as second in the world for recycling nation in a new study published today.

Wales by far leads the way in the UK and is listed just behind Austria in the global rankings published by Eunomia Research and Consulting and Reloop.


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Northern Ireland is ranked 9th, England at 11th and Scotland at 15th among the 48 countries included in the comparison. ‘Global Recycling League Table - Phase One Report’ examined the recycling performance of 48 countries, including the countries that report the highest recycling rates and many of the world’s largest economies.

It is being published today on World Environment Day.

The First Minister of Wales, Vaughan Gething, said:

“It’s fantastic news that Wales has climbed to second in the world for recycling. This shows what we can achieve when people across Wales work together to deliver against ambitious targets, backed up by investment in our infrastructure.

“Thanks to the efforts of households and workplaces across Wales, we have transformed from a nation with very low rates of recycling at the beginning of devolution to one of the leading nations in the world and far ahead of the rest of the UK.

“This achievement belongs to all of us, and we are committed to improving recycling rates further still with the number one spot in the world our next target.”

Climate Change Cabinet Secretary Huw Irranca-Davies added: "This is excellent news and, with the action we are already taking, we are working towards challenging for the top spot.

“In rolling out the successful approach to household recycling to our workplaces, we are also taking action to tackle the climate and nature emergency, while providing important benefits to the economy, by capturing a resilient supply of high-quality recycled materials.

 “This is so important for Wales because it means capturing high quality recycling that is fed back into the economy and supports creating jobs, with a high percentage staying in Wales and the wider UK for processing.

 “It also helps us tackle the climate and nature emergencies by reducing our carbon emissions and avoiding the need to extract raw materials with the damage they can bring.  

 “I often talk about a Welsh way of doing things and the team effort which had led to today’s achievement is one should all be rightly proud of – da iawn Cymru!

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