Our work

Helping green communities to create local wealth

CEW’s approach is community-focused. A circular economy with practices and principles aligned with the needs of the social and foundational economies. CEW is establishing proven models run by practitioners across our global networks. We work with reuse organisations wishing to diversify their social and environmental offering and the income from it whilst at the same time making arrangements to embed the liquidity saving measures of Wales’s new mutual credit system, the Celyn.

Proven exemplars of community ingenuity are now moving forward globally. CEW is connected to a number of international zero waste organisations that are involved at the front line of service delivery. Our mapping of the social economy reuse sector in 2019 shows that the sector has not been able to take enough of the new opportunities to fulfil contracts with local authorities, to establish new services and reach further into our communities.

With seed funding from the Welsh Government, CEW has been developing partnerships to bring new services to fruition.

With strategic investment, CEW aims to broaden, deepen and build on its innovative work and accelerate progress:

  • A stimulus to locally grown and organic food by helping the social economy produce products to stimulate regenerative farming in their communities.
  • Community-owned micro-reprocessing services for upcycling glass, plastics and wood; to turn these material streams into useable product desired that are saleable to community members
  • Collaborating to create a unified online marketplace (a REBAY if you will) for products made in Wales.
  • Embedding the redistribution of all surplus food into Welsh culture, via small scale but numerous, non-stigma and non-means-tested Community Fridge services
  • The Foundational Economy Challenge Fund backed Celyn, being rolled out by CEW, is a global first for Wales; a liquidity saving measure that closes the loop on recycling/reuse initiatives by further circulating the wealth it generates in the locality. (Mutual Credit is part of Switzerland’s economic success story, see section 4)

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We must radically change the way we think about and consume our goods and materials, and we must do that now. A circular economy is the blueprint for a more equal and sustainable planet and it is great to see the pioneering work of Circular Economy Wales taking root and providing a foundation block on which to build a better society with community action at its heart.

Our work in Scotland on the circle economy has shown that not only does the shift to more circular thinking bring huge environmental and economic benefits, there are significant social benefits in terms of engagement, community cohesion, training opportunities and local job creation. The circular economy after all is about people and people doing things differently. It is the citizens of our planet who will decide what future we want for our children and as attitudes to tackling climate change gather pace it will be community efforts which will have the most telling impact.

Iain Gulland - CEO of Zero Waste Scotland

Tools for Self-Reliance (TFSR) Cymru welcomes Circular Economy Wales. This network will really help our organisation to function better throughout Wales and in our local community." - Tony Care, Tools for Self-Reliance (Crickhowell – Mon.)

In a world needing to build community resilience and local market economies Town Councils have an exciting potential role. In Llangollen, a Cittaslow town since 2013, we are very active in looking for new ways and means to contribute to a resilient and sustainable future for Wales. Llangollen Town Council's Cittaslow Committee would therefore like to continue exploring with CEW our ideas and programmes around surplus food and plastics and also to examine how CEWs ‘Celyn Mutual Credit’ could help Llangollen’s businesses.

Robyn Lovelock, Chair of Llangollen Town Council’s Cittaslow Committee

Crest Co-operative are wholly supportive of Circular Economy Wales' ambition to represent, develop and support new and existing third sector organisations across Wales who are leading the way in establishing sustainable community focused initiatives. Circular Economy Wales will greatly benefit the Welsh reuse sector network's capability to contribute to Government strategy development, respond cohesively to policy and, deliver innovative solutions to the environmental and social challenges faced in developing a true zero waste, circular economy, for Wales.

Jay Martin, CEO, Crest Cooperative

Mae angen cydlynu ein sector a sicrhau bod sefydliadau yn gallu cyflawni tu hwnt i'w nod a'u gwasanaethau creiddiol. Mae angen hyn er mwyn diwallu anghenion lleol, a chyfrannu tuag at Economi Gylchog yng Nghymru. Mae angen rhwydwaith ag adnoddau da er mwyn cyflwyno ein hanghenion ar y cyd i Lywodraeth Cymru, y sector gyhoeddus a'r sector breifat. Hefyd, hwyluso, gwella cyfathrebu a rhannu arbenigedd.

Dylai Sector Ailddefnyddio Cymru ddod ynghyd mewn seminarau a chynadleddau i ychwanegu at arbenigedd y sector, a chyflwyno syniadau a chyfleoedd newydd o bob cwr o'r byd.

Rwy’n edrych ymlaen at weld Economi Gylchog Cymru yn cael yr adnoddau sydd eu hangen i allu cynnig y gwasanaethau hyn. Mae yna lawer o gyfleoedd i sefydliadau fel Antur Waunfawr ailddefnyddio er mwyn cyfrannu yn helaeth tuag at ddyfodol di-wastraff, a diwallu angenion cymdeithasol ar yr un pryd.

Menna Jones, CEO Antur Waunfawr -Gwynedd
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