Parliament takes steps to cut single-use plastics at Westminster

The UK Parliament is set to phase out single-use plastics by 2019, and is introducing a 25p charge to hot drinks served in compostable cups.

Photo: Michael D Beckwith / Unsplash

The measures will see Parliament eliminate water in plastic bottles – removing 125,000 plastic bottles from its annual waste, and increasing water dispensers on site.

These measures come after more than a year of debate at the Palace of Westminster as well as in the national media.

The House of Commons and the House of Lords announced they will look to replace coffee cups, straws, plastic bags and water bottles with compostable alternatives or reusable options.

This summer Parliament will stop purchasing non-recyclable disposable cups, instead opting for a compostable alternative.

Along with the additional 25p charge for using compostable cups, reusable coffee cups will be available to buy, and incentives will be offered to customers who refill them.

Additionally, customers at catering venues across Parliament will serve themselves sauces from refillable containers, eradicating the need for plastic sachets, and compostable alternatives will replace all disposable plastic items used in catering venues.

In 2019 paper carrier bags and branded fabric shopping bags will eventually replace plastic carrier bags on the Parliamentary Estate.



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