Teaming up with seven London boroughs – Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest – the NLWA is encouraging local businesses to sign up to their Charter of Commitment in an effort to cut reliance on single-use plastics.
Pledges featured within it include asking customers before offering plastic bags, not selling goods wrapped in single-use plastic where possible, and supplying free water refills.
The average Londoner buys three plastic water bottles each week – amounting to 175 a year – according to City Hall.
In a trial in the Cowcross Street district of Islington, more than 75% of businesses were able to reduce the amount of single-use plastic supplied to customers. All went on to receive ‘Low Plastic Zone’ status.
The initiative was devised off the back of a NWLA-commissioned Censuswide poll which found 95% of respondents want local businesses to cut down their reliance single-use plastic, with 83% claiming to have reduced their own consumption.
Cllr Clyde Loakes, chair of NLWA, said: “Our research shows that the majority of people are trying hard to reduce their use of single-use plastic but are frustrated at how difficult it is to avoid when shopping or eating and drinking on-the-go.”
He added: “We know that businesses want to reduce their environmental impact, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s good for business. People are telling us that they are more likely to use companies who are taking action in this area so we are confident that this flagship initiative will be a win-win-win; for businesses, for consumers and of course, for the planet.”
Speaking at the launch today, executive member for Environment and Transport from Islington council Cllr Rowena Champion said: “The Low Plastic Zone on Cowcross Street is an innovative, practical step towards cutting down on single-use plastics and shows one of the many ways we are working with local people and businesses to tackle the climate emergency.
“We have been encouraged and inspired by the response from the public and businesses alike so far; it is clear many people who live and work in the borough are willing to do their bit in helping reduce single-use plastics.”
A number of shopping districts in the seven boroughs are expected to become Low Plastic Zones for their efforts in future weeks.
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Published on standard.co.uk