Cardiff City, Wales: The Green City’s Unresolved Environmental Issues

Researchers have worked out how much pollution places should have relative to size, and the results show  Cardiff is ranked the fourth-worse in the UK, while London comes in at 75th

Above is the interesting fact regarding Cardiff city although it is a green city, capital of Wales, United Kingdom. Cardiff is the eleventh- largest city of the United Kingdom. It has a total of 8.04% green space. Being a capital, it is also a major tourist center and most visitor population.

According to census 2011, the city has a total population of 335,145. It is presumed that as the city population grows the environmental issues and waste will become with It. 

Over 60% of residents believe that transport in the city is a severe problem as city reliance on cars also contributes to Cardiff’s carbon emissions higher than any other town in Wales.


  • Forty thousand deaths a year were reported in Europe due to poor air quality.
  • The investigation hints that 143 deaths per year are induced by air pollution in  Cardiff.
  • NO2 emission is higher at around 9.5 µgm-3. in residential areas of Cardiff city.
  • Due to the increasing population, there is a significant increase in the vehicle which led to an increase in emission of NO refer to the picture below.

Notwithstanding the above results, it is still the 4th Capital city in Europe in terms of satisfactory air quality. It can also indicate that there is a need of spreading awareness in the city related to air quality and its management.

NO2 Concentration in the residential area of Cardiff city (StatsWales)


  • Litter pollution is getting severe in  Cardiff City.
  • The Litter pollution includes waste such as broken bottle, and anything made up of plastics (bottles,    bags or toys) 
  • Around 430 tonnes of rubbish, each year is collected by Cardiff Harbour Authority.
  • There was even a complaint about ‘horrific’ litter pollution on the street by residents of Cardiff.
  • There is a rise in concerns, as it will affect wildlife.

Litter pollution is of concern as it affects not only the beauty and gives a wrong impression to the visitors, but it affects the health of citizens as well as wildlife. 


Cardiff is a chief commercial center of Wales. It produces a large amount of industrial waste, which pressurizes the economy of Cardiff too. Estimated, 42,000 tonnes of recyclable waste is generated each year in Cardiff 

There are organizations and companies which come forward to help in overcoming the issue of recycling waste like “Keep Cardiff Tidy”. However, the primary hurdle faced by Cardiff is to be aware of people as well as provide a better service for picking up the trash and recycling it.


  • Cardiff Council has initiated a corporate commitment to have an active plan of transport in every school by April 2022.
  • 2017 discussions were initiated surrounding the implementation of a new automatic NOx and PM10 monitoring station in Cardiff.
  • In 2011, To inhibit the growth of MSW per capita by promoting waste minimization initiatives with a long-term aim of reducing growth to zero until 2050
  • Refill Wales’  was launched in Cardiff too to prevent generation and wastage of plastic bottles.


  • Keep Cardiff Tidy is the initiative taken by the locals to clean the litter around Cardiff city.
  • It launches volunteering programs and activities to clean the city.
  • There are many volunteers who work for picking litter and segregating wastes.


A circular economy is an economic system of closed loops in which raw materials, components, and products lose their value as little as possible, renewable energy sources are used and systems thinking is at the core.

Circular Economy works on the 3-R model

  1. Reduce
  2. Re-use
  3. Recycle


  1. Air Pollution

While dealing with Air pollution Closed Circular economy can be used. Closed Circular Economy is when there is no waste product and it can be fully recycled. In this, it is very important that while designing as well as recycling it is high quality and it is not compromised at any point.

This will reduce the release of any gases and toxins while producing the industrial equipment or in chemical-based factories. 

  1. Litter Pollution and Recycle waste 
  • The plastics which are found as litter or trash can be recycled or re-use to make different products which will require the less new plastic generation and can extend the life of plastic. The litter can be recycled into short-live consumer products, clothing, synthetic material or product, artificial jewelry, fishing equipment, and a lot more things.
  • At the design stage, less complex polymers can be used which will make it easier while recycling the product.
  • The commercial waste can be reused if there is a proper arrangement by the manufacturing company of engineers who can resolve the technical issues and extend the use of the product.


One of the circular economy models implemented by Earth5R by conducting the project for the school children to participate and volunteer in this initiative. The Multi layering packaging based plastic is non-recyclable and it ends up in public places and landfills. This gives rise to not only litter pollution but recycles management too.

However, school children and local citizens can solve this problem by constructing EcoBrick Gardens. Even the Cardiff city council can adopt the idea started by Earth5R and build Ecobrick Garden in the local and communal parks.

This program is a great example of a circular economy as it brought environmental, social, and economic impact.

  • Environmental: Less plastic bottles and less waste goes into landfill
  • Social: The young minds get aware and motivated by innovative ideas.
  • Economic: It saves a lot of money for recycling and making bricks.

Ultimately, solving the problems of pollution and environment issues within the Green city “Cardiff” does not simply rely on judgement, but also circular economy based solutions to create a more sustainable and cleaner environment for the future.

Reach out to Earth5R to know more about solving environmental issues by creating circular economy based sustainability projects.


Earth5R is an environmental organization from India with its head office at Mumbai. It works with the NGO sector, Companies and helps them conduct environmental corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs across India. Earth5R specializes in circular economy based projects. Earth5R also offers short term and long term environmental courses.

Earth5R is conducting large-scale online training on COVID 19 Coronavirus prevention, response, management, and self-sustainability. These training are conducted on digital platforms in regional languages across India and other countries.

Earth5R’s Global Sustainability Hub is a cross-sector and cross-country collaboration in pursuit of UN Sustainable Development Goals. It is an excellent opportunity for governments and the private sector to engage with communities, use Sustainability-based models to drive economic changes and create social and environmental impact.

Reported by Roshni Nair, edited by Mehfil Mubarak