Steve Double MP welcomes further measures announced by Parliament to cut down on single-use plastics in Westminster

Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay has welcomed news from the Houses of Parliament that in October they will be further reducing of single use plastics in Westminster.

Earlier in the year, Parliament announced a comprehensive range of steps to drastically reduce its consumption of single-use plastics. Last week Parliament announced the introduction of a new range of compostable products, alongside three other measures, to replace existing single-use plastic items.

Commenting, Steve said:

“I am delighted to see Parliament following the lead of many of us in Cornwall in continuing to cut down on the use of single use plastics at the heart of our democracy.”

“My office already committed to cutting down on single use plastics last year, and as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group Protect Our Waves I am pleased to have worked with Surfers Against Sewage to lobby for these changes nationally, as well as supporting communities in Cornwall, such as the Plastic Free initiatives in both Newquay and St Austell, in making these changes.”

“There is still more work to do but these are encouraging steps and I look forward to a day when our Parliament and our country is truly free of single use plastics.”

Key changes that will be implemented in October include:

• Switching the non-recyclable catering disposable items such as take-away boxes, soup containers, take-away cups and cutlery with sustainably sourced, plant-based and certified compostable alternatives. 

• Bottled water in plastic bottles will no longer be on sale in Parliament, immediately eliminating approximately 120,000 plastic bottles annually. 

• Customers purchasing hot drinks served in single-use take-away cups will be charged 25p extra, which will contribute to the increased costs to Parliament associated with the reduction in plastic strategy.

These initiatives are just four of several measures announced earlier this year with the ambitious aim of eliminating single-use avoidable plastics from both Houses by 2019.  The first phase of the plan saw the introduction of re-usable coffee cups in June this year, with more than a thousand cups already sold to MPs, Peers, visitors, and staff working in Parliament.

These integrated measures will virtually eliminate single-use avoidable plastics from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. 

Key changes that will be implemented from 2019 include:

•  Plastic carrier bags will continue to be phased out in retail outlets on the Parliamentary Estate;

•  Parliament will promote greener stationery items in partnership with their stationery provider, to reduce the environmental impact of our consumption;

•  Revised procedures will be implemented to incorporate the environmental impact of packaging into the weighting of relevant procurement and tender exercises, to give incentive to suppliers to reduce the amount of single-use avoidable plastics in their goods and services;

•  Reusable warehousing, delivery and packaging solutions will be trialled, further reducing single-use avoidable plastics.