Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn has visited Ysgol Pencae in Cardiff to highlight the Welsh Government’s consultation on a deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers.
The Llandaf school is one of Wales’ many eco-schools and its eco-committee has been working to increase understanding of waste and reduce its plastic use through initiatives such as the weekly ‘plastic-free Friday’.
If a DRS is to be introduced in Wales, shoppers would be expected to pay a deposit on plastic, glass and metal drinks containers (excluding milk containers) which would be refunded on return.
The Deputy Minister encouraged the eco-committee to respond to the consultation which has been summarised and made available to all eco-schools in Wales.
Hannah Blythyn said:
“I really enjoyed meeting the inspiring pupils at Ysgol Pencae. They gave me their views about how we can reduce our plastic waste and improve recycling rates in Wales and we had some useful discussions about plastic use and deposit return schemes.
“If we can make rejecting single use plastic and reusing or recycling as much as possible second nature to the next generation we will make huge strides in improving our environment. Judging by today’s discussion, the future is in safe hands.”
The Welsh Government is also part of another UK-wide consultation on extended producer responsibility for packaging which aims to ensure that producers bear the waste management cost of the products they place onto the market, in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle. The UK government is also consulting on a tax on the production and import of plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic.
The Deputy Minister added:
“Plastic waste and packaging waste are important issues, for everybody, not just our children. Every year in the UK, we generate around 11 million tonnes of packaging waste as a whole 2.3 million tonnes of which is plastic packaging waste.
“In Wales we are world leaders in recycling but we want to go further, we want to take action to minimise the amount of packaging we use, and incentivise better design of products and packaging, so that it can be reused or easily recycled. This could stimulate economic opportunities for Wales and support our aim to become a more circular economy.”
“I want to encourage everyone to read and respond to the consultations to make sure Wales’ voice is heard on these issues.”