Plastic Route Map

5th June 2018

Wales has achieved great success in recycling and has come a long way in improving the recycling of plastics from households, achieving a 75% recycling rate for plastic bottles. It was also the first nation in the UK to introduce a single use carrier bag charge. However, there’s still work to do.

Key Statistics:
400,000 tonnes per annum total plastic waste arising
Reprocessing capacity circa 55,000 tonnes per annum
10% recycled plastic used in manufacturing (primarily packaging)
Around 61% of collected plastic waste is recycled outside of Wales

The Challenge 

Wales leads the way in household recycling in the UK and is third in the world. However, along with the rest of the world, Wales is facing a number of significant challenges concerning the manufacture, use and disposal of plastics. Key to addressing these challenges is the adoption of new initiatives and business models that retain plastics in economic use for as long as possible and avoid escape into the environment. The plastics value chain must collaborate to ensure that products and packaging placed on the market are recyclable, easy to recover and reprocess, and should incorporate as high a percentage of recycled material as possible. This document, produced by WRAP Cymru, provides the foundations on which we can improve the circularity of plastic in Wales.  

A catalyst for action, its focus is the identification of opportunities and barriers acting on markets for recycled plastics in Wales, and proposes actions and initiatives that can be undertaken by industry, government, trade bodies and support organisations.

WRAP Cymru will focus on supporting organisations across Wales to deliver the actions required, and facilitate collaboration across the value chain to accelerate the move toward a more circular plastic economy.