City of London scheme cuts 36 million single-use plastic items

The City of London Corporation yesterday (9 November) announced that its ‘Clean City Awards Scheme’ (CCAS) has succeeded in reducing single-use plastic by 36 million items, including 19 million cups, 12 million pieces of plastic cutlery, 3.5 million food containers and 600,000 plastic water bottles.

Prior to the ban of single-use plastic straws, which came into effect on 1 October 2020, 620,000 plastic straws were also included in this figure – which recorded plastic use between April 2019 and March 2020.

View of City of LondonThe CCAS, which has been kept running for over 20 years by the City of London Corporation, was set up to develop partnerships with businesses and promote responsible waste management in the City.

Keith Bottomley, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, said: “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.

“These impressive results show that many City businesses are rising to the challenge and taking practical action. The impact of single-use plastics is a global issue of great concern to many.”
The ‘Plastic Free City’ pledge, an initiative to encourage businesses and individuals to pledge to eradicate single-use plastic in the City, has so far gained signatures from 106 companies, including Goldman Sachs, Rothschild & Co and the Bank of England.

The Bank of England has also attempted to forge a reuse culture in the workplace, with its “think before you drink” campaign having resulted in 80 per cent fewer single-use plastic items being used.  

Paul Wright, Head of Inclusion and Sustainability at the Bank of England, said: “We are particularly proud of the huge reductions we have achieved in single-use plastic catering items, and of the support that we have had from our senior leaders.

“The Plastic Free City pledge has helped us by providing a framework for our efforts, and has enabled us to share ideas with other organisations who are also working to reduce their plastic waste.”