Natural Resources Wales (NRW) intends to procure £9 million worth of young trees to plant in Wales. They are keen to take a sustainable approach and to help deliver upon public policy goals. These include those of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales and the ambitions set out in Beyond Recycling: A strategy to make the circular economy in Wales a reality.

NRW sought advice from WRAP Cymru – funded by the Welsh Government – to minimise the environmental impact of plastic tree root wrappers and containers. These are used to prevent
desiccation and minimise heat stress when plants are transported and stored.

With support from Resource Futures, WRAP Cymru conducted market research on packaging and protection products and assessed delivery options. Recommendations for the tender specifications and evaluation criteria were then made, to encourage suppliers to reduce their products’ environmental impact.

At the time of procurement, sustainable products available on the market were limited. However, over the contract term, more sustainable solutions may become available. An ‘innovation partnership’ approach and three-yearly product reviews were recommended to allow the supplier to supply new products and for NRW to use more sustainable options available.

Key Facts

  • £9 million tree procurement for Wales
  • NRW aimed to reduce the environmental impact of plastic film and durable bags used to protect tree roots
  • Opportunities identified in line with the Waste Hierarchy: reduce, re-use, recycle
  • ‘Innovation partnership’ approach recommended to benefit from future product innovation

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