The City of London Corporation’s Plastic Free City scheme has been hailed as a success. The initiative, in which some 106 businesses located here in London’s historic financial district and employing nearly 100,000 people are currently taking part, enabled some 36 million single-use-items to have been eradicated over the past year, according to the latest figures.
The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile and, among other things, is responsible for keeping the City clean.
Over 620,000 plastic straws, 19 million cups, and 12 million items of cutlery were cut by firms, among whom major City firms Goldman Sachs, Nomura, and Rothschild & Co, participating in the scheme.
Over 600,000 water bottles and nearly 3.5 million food containers were also eliminated from use.
These are annual estimates based on figures collated from data between April 2019 to March 2020, before the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Bank of England is one of the organisations signed up to the campaign. It has embedded a “reuse culture” within their workplace and their “think before you drink” campaign has resulted in 80% fewer single-use plastic items being used.
The City Corporation, which itself has pledged to become plastic free in 2021, installed a network of 17 on-street water refill points in the City in a bid to eliminate disposable plastic water bottle use.
Over 200 of the City’s pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants have also become part of a network of water bottle refill stations, where the public can refill reusable water bottles. Participating establishments can all be found on the Refill app.
“We are committed to removing all single-use plastics from the Square Mile in line with the clear desire amongst City workers, residents and visitors to eliminate their use,” said Keith Bottomley, chair of the City of London Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee.
“These impressive results show that many City businesses are rising to the challenge and taking practical action.”