Green daily choices

First published: 21/06/2023 -

Last updated: 12/06/2024 -

Verified by our Editorial Panel

A little more reducing, reusing, repairing and recycling, and a little less waste will lower the amount of harmful carbon emissions released into the atmosphere, which are the primary driver of climate change.

The production of everyday products accounts for 45% of global emissions. Here in Wales, we can all work together to help tackle this – as well as save money. 

Wales named as second best recycling nation in the world!

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The Welsh Government is committed to making green choices easier, more affordable and more convenient, and prioritising support where it is needed most. For advice and support to help you with the increased cost of living see

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What can we do?

Why take action?

If we all work together, we can meet our target of making Wales a zero-waste nation by 2050. We’re already a world leader in recycling – let’s go further. By making green daily choices to reduce what we buy new and what we throw away, we can get there. It’ll also help us:


Save money

Keeping products for as long as possible, repairing, buying second hand, repurposing and borrowing are, in nearly every case, cheaper than buying new. You can also make money by selling unwanted items online or at a car boot sale.

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Get something unique

You never know what you’ll find shopping second hand – or you can repurpose items and create something completely new.

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Help other people

Donating to charity shops is a way you can support a good cause, while avoiding throwing usable items away so you’re helping the planet too.

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Learn new skills

Want to add new life to an old piece of furniture? Give it a coat of paint or add some decorative wallpaper. Learn to sew so you can fix your own clothes or find out more about how things work to see if you can repair them. There are YouTube videos to teach you any kind of skill imaginable – why not have a search and see if there’s anything you’d like to learn? 

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Reduce harmful carbon emissions

The manufacture and transport of new products requires energy and contributes to carbon emissions.  Buying and throwing away less means less rubbish, which helps the environment.

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Conserve water

With heatwaves and droughts expected as part of climate change, the more water we save, the more water we have for extreme weather situations, to protect our health and our natural world.

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Protect rainforests

Wales imports large quantities of goods, some of which are causing the destruction of rainforests and animal habitats. These include palm oil used in everyday supermarket items such as soap or cosmetics and rubber. The fewer goods we buy, the less we need to import and the more we can do our bit to protect the natural environment.

What is Wales doing?

The Welsh Government has a number of schemes in place to help people make green daily choices and improve recycling. 

  • Promoting repair and re-use 
    Welsh Government has invested in promoting repair and reuse in Wales, including grants to local authorities that have been used to create town centre repair and reuse shops and other reuse facilities at Household Waste Recycling Centres

    Welsh Government has also provided grants to support key organisations providing opportunities for people to borrow from Libraries of Things and repair their own items with support from local experts at Repair Cafes.  

  • Deposit return scheme  
    Feedback from a joint consultation with UK Government is being used to design a new Deposit Return Scheme for drink containers which will see us pay a small deposit when we buy a drink in a single use container, which we get back when we return the bottle or can. 

  • Local Government Association Procurement Toolkit 
    The Welsh Government is helping local authorities bring sustainability into everything they do, particularly around reducing emissions from the goods and services they use.  

  • Be Mighty Campaign  
    The Be Mighty Campaign asks everyone to make small but important changes in how they recycle with the aim of becoming number one in the world.  

  • Banning single use plastics 

    Wales will become the first nation in the UK to ban selling unnecessary, disposable products to consumers. From autumn 2023, local authorities will have the power to enforce the offence of supplying or offering to supply commonly littered items including cutlery and polystyrene lids. 

  • Recycling 

    We’re a global leader when it comes to household recycling; food waste is collected from every household and recycling centres are evolving into modern eco-parks to keep resources in use.  

    WRAP Cymru reported through its My Recycling Wales website that 403,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions had been avoided through recycling in 2019/20 – that’s the equivalent of 81,356 petrol-powered cars being driven for a year.   

    Wales is currently recycling 65.2% of it’s municipal waste, which is one of the highest recycling rates in the world. But we need to do more for the environment by reducing the amount of rubbish we produce. By 2025, the Government is aiming to reduce avoidable food waste by 50%, reduce all waste by 26% and increase the recycling rate to 70%. Find out more about how we’ll reach these targets. 

  • Improve waste collections for Welsh businesses

    The Welsh Government is introducing new regulations that will require all workplaces to separate recyclable materials in the same way that most householders do now. This will improve the quality and quantity of how we collect and separate waste. 

  • Ban single-use plastics

    Wales will become the first nation in the UK to take action on single-use plastics following Senedd approval of legislation to ban selling unnecessary, disposable products – including cutlery, polystyrene lids, drinking straws and balloon sticks.  

  • Improve the recycling of packaging

    The Beyond Recycling Strategy introduced an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme to ensure producers bear the full end of life costs of their packaging and meet packaging recycling targets set for Wales. This will include labelling to make it easier for people to understand what can and can’t be recycled.   

  • Financial support for water bills 

    Welsh Water invested £12 million in 2022 to support its most vulnerable customers through the cost of living crisis. Find out more about how it can help with financial and non-financial support.  

  • Energy efficient water fittings and appliances 

    The Welsh Government is working with the UK Government to develop a labelling scheme for water fittings and appliances which could significantly reduce water use over 25 years by ensuring products are more water efficient. 

  • Reusable nappy schemes 

    Local schemes include the North Wales Nappy Collective, which offers advice and loans of reusable nappy kits. They estimate to have prevented over three million nappies and 26 million single use sanitary products entering landfill since 2015. Find out more about the benefits of using real nappies here.

More information 

To find out more about daily choices you can make to reduce your impact on the environment and save money, click one of the links below:

For further support or advice call

0300 0604400

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