Companies that employ nearly 100,000 people in the area have signed up for the single-use plastic initiative run by the City of London


One of the organisations signed up to the City of London's campaign is the Bank of England (Credit: Shutterstock/Alex Segre)

Businesses in the City of London have cut the use of 36 million single-use plastic items over the last year, according to new figures.

Overall, firms taking part in the City of London Corporation’s Plastic Free City scheme have eradicated more than 620,000 plastic straws, 19 million cups, and 12 million items of cutlery from their sites.

Companies that employ nearly 100,000 people in the area have signed up to the initiative, which asks businesses to help eradicate single-use plastic in the City.

Major City firms involved include Goldman Sachs, Nomura, and Rothschild & Co.

Keith Bottomley, chairman 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.”


City of London pledges to become plastic-free by 2021

Based on annual estimates collated from data between April 2019 to March 2020, the figures also outlined that more than 600,000 water bottles and nearly 3.5 million food containers were eliminated from use.

As part of the City Corporation’s pledge to become plastic-free in 2021, the City of London Corporation installed a network of 17 on-street water refill points in a bid to eliminate disposable plastic water bottle use.

One of the organisations signed up to the campaign is the Bank of England, which has embedded a “reuse culture” within its workplace.

Alongside this, its “think before you drink” campaign has resulted in 80% fewer single-use plastic items being used.

The Bank of England’s head of inclusion and sustainability Paul Wright 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 also working to reduce their plastic waste.”

More than 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 their reusable water bottles.