The study by ECOTEC, on behalf of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, reviewed the development of markets for recycled materials.
Ms Essex said, 'Wales is not recycling as much as I would wish. In part, this is because some markets perceive secondary materials as inferior. I welcome the Institute's report as a positive contribution to the development of more sustainable waste practices in Wales. The study was partly funded by the National Assembly and its conclusions will feed through to the development of our waste strategy.'
From its earliest days, Ms Essex said, the Assembly had been encouraging local authorities to review their waste management policies, and to develop new initiatives, with a particular emphasis on partnerships with community bodies engaged in recycling activities.
'Recycling,' she added, 'is a very good way of re-using waste materials and saving on natural resources. The more we recycle, the less we have to landfill. But there are practical limits. This is why we must also place greater emphasis on reducing waste production at the outset. This can be done, for example, by making products more durable so that they last longer, or by cutting out unnecessary packaging.'