The Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, is held talks in Brussels yesterday (26 September) on how Wales can work with partners in Europe to continue to develop agricultural, rural, marine and environmental policies following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
The Cabinet Secretary met sector and European Commission representatives to discuss how Wales’ “ground-breaking approach”, through the Environment (Wales) Act, will support further progress in areas like recycling, decarbonisation and biodiversity.
The Cabinet Secretary also highlighted the importance of Wales retaining full and unfettered access to the single market, which she says benefits the country’s thriving food and drink industry, among other important sectors.
The First Minister has made clear this is a priority for Wales and he will be pressing this case with the UK Government.
The Cabinet Secretary said: “EU policies and legislation have delivered clear improvements to our environment and health and provided welcome protection and support for our farming and fishing industries. As the UK prepares to leave the EU we will be looking at how these important safeguards can be built upon to meet Welsh needs.”
“Our European partners are very important to us. Wales is an outward looking nation, and it is now more important than ever that we work with our partners to forge the best possible outcome for Wales.”
The Cabinet Secretary’s programme in Brussels includes meetings with the Cabinets of the Agricultural and Health Commissioners, the Senior Advisor for Sustainable Development to the President of the European Commission, farmers’ representatives and Welsh MEPs.
Recycling In Wales
Based on the provisional data, in 2015/16 the average combined reuse, recycling and composting rate across Wales’ 22 local authorities was 60%, an increase of 4 percentage points on last year’s figure.
It is also 2% higher than the ambitious new Statutory Recycling Target of 58%.
All but three of Wales’ twenty two local authorities successfully reached the 58% target, based on the provisional data. The remaining local authorities have received additional funding as part of the Welsh Government’s Collaborative Change Programme. This will enable them to make improvements to collection services and depot facilities and support them to meet Statutory Recycling Targets in future years.
The quarterly statistical release ‘Local Authority Municipal Waste Management, January- March 2016’ is available HERE