NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales and Leader of UKIP Wales, has welcomed plans to consolidate Wales’s place as the leading UK nation for recycling and reducing waste.
Mr Hamilton, Party Spokesman for the Environment, was commenting after Environment Minister, Hannah Blythyn, told the Assembly she hoped to see Wales take the lead and become the world’s first ‘refill nation.’
She announced a series of measures, which included work getting underway to improve access to drinking water in public places across the country.
The Welsh Government will also work with City to Sea, a group campaigning against single-use plastics, on developing the Refill campaign for Wales, as well as working closely with water companies in Wales and more widely with businesses, charities and major events.
The work will also include a behavioural change campaign to help people see the value of water and make tap water their first choice for hydration.
She also revealed an additional £15 million of capital funding to further improve Local Authority recycling collection systems and infrastructure, including for plastics.
Mr Hamilton said: “Wales is leading the way in recycling and I am pleased to see the Welsh Government drawing up further plans which, ultimately, will help our planet in the future.
“Earlier this year I was delighted to congratulate staff at Powys County Council, together with local residents when, thanks to all their hard work, they came top of a carbon-recycling league for the whole of England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
“This was a great achievement and showed what can be done with positive leadership backed by a willingness and enthusiasm from local people.
“It is vital, for the sake of the future, that we continue to recycle and I welcome the ambitious plans set out by the Minister.”
Speaking in the Senedd, Hannah Blythin said the government wanted to work with other parts of the UK on a deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers. Further feasibility studies would also be undertaken to ensure a UK DRS delivers optimum benefits for Wales.
She 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.
“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.”