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Smart Water used to tackle waste crime

A site in Barry has been used to test the use of Smart Water in Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) fight against illegal waste crime.


Smart Water used to tackle waste crime f

The site in question has an exemption permit for the treatment and storage of waste tyres but has exceeded the quantity permitted by the exemption, estimated to be in excess of 2000 waste tyres. 

Having so many tyres on a site is a potential fire risk not only harms the environment but can also impact people’s health and undermines legitimate business.

NRW’s waste regulation team has served a Notice on the site to remove the waste tyres but there are concerns that they may not be disposed of legitimately. To try and prevent this NRW’s Tackling waste Crime team has deployed Smart Water at the site.

Mark Oughton of NRW’s Tackling Waste Crime team, said:

“Smart Water is a nontoxic forensic tagging system which contains a unique identifier in its droplets, it is invisible to the naked eye once it has dried and only able to be seen with use of an ultraviolet light.

Once the waste has been identified as having Smart Water upon it, a sample can be sent away to a laboratory for code identification and this information can then be used as strong evidence in any enforcement or court action that is to follow.

We hope that the use of Smart Water will act as a strong deterrent to illegal behaviour and ensure that the waste tyres are disposed of at a permitted site.”

Anybody who suspects illegal waste activity in their area should report it via NRW’s incident hotline on 0300 065 3000.




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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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