Once again at this time of year I’ve teamed up with local businesses to deliver boxes of ‘Christmas cheer’ to families across the constituency in the run up to Christmas. The boxes contain treats like chocolates, selection boxes, mince pies, biscuits, Christmas puddings, cheese and crackers. Once again, Flint-based business Roberts Group (Polyroof) has not only been the main sponsor but has helped with packing and delivery, while Smurfit Kappa in Mold kindly provided the boxes – many thanks to them for providing this invaluable help and especially Roberts Group managing director Nick Roberts, HR manager Tracey Deans and helpers Marc Gunther and Michael Atkinson as well as Rhian Clark, HR manager at Smurfit Kappa.
This is the third time I’ve done Christmas cheer boxes – following on from the Christmas hampers I started in 2020 – and I hope it spreads a little festive magic at this time of year. The festive season can be a really stressful time for families in Flintshire, whether that’s with all the extra costs associated with Christmas or because it’s been a challenging year, and I hope the boxes will go a little way towards making things a bit better for everyone.
Recycling has been on the agenda a lot in the last couple of weeks – Wales not only has one of the best recycling rates in Europe, but it was announced recently that we have as a nation exceeded our recycling targets as well as beat the targets set to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. It’s worth reflecting that at the start of devolution in 1999, just 4.8% of waste was recycled – today it’s 65.7%, higher than the statutory target of 64%.
In my previous role covering the environment brief, I helped to get people thinking about a more circular economy here in Wales – keeping things in use and reuse for as long as possible in a way that benefits our environment, communities and economy. So it’s great to see more and more waste being reused rather than sent to landfill – in just over 10 years Wales has gone from 42.0% of waste sent to landfill to just 1.6% in 2022-23 – and this is only going to improve as the new Workplace Recycling Regulations will require all businesses, public and third sector workplaces to separate key recyclable materials in the way we have been doing at home for years.
Although the Christmas season can often see more waste being produced, there’s plenty of top tips out there to help us have more environmentally-friendly festivities. The Recycle Now site is a good resource – Eco-friendly Christmas: Festive Recycling Tips | Recycle Now – and it’s also worth checking out Flintshire County Council’s website regarding Christmas collections, as well as the various local initiatives for collecting real Christmas trees to help raise money for good causes.
Finally, as the Senedd is in recess for the festive period I’d like to wish all my constituents a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. And best wishes also from my staff – Louise, Kay, Sandra, Jack and Jonah – Nadolig Llawen! The office in Mold will be closed over the Christmas period from the end of the day this Thursday until January 4, but you can still get in touch via email or by post and I’ll get back to you when I return – 52 High Street, Mold, Flintshire CH7 1HB or email@example.com. You can also keep up to date via my Facebook page –www.facebook.com/HannahBlythynForDelyn or on my website at www.hannahblythyn.cymru.