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Parliament told to put ‘house in order’ after it emerges Commons bought more than a million disposable coffee cups and lids in last year alone

Greater than a million disposable espresso cups and lids have been used by the House of Commons final 12 months – equal to 1,500 per MP – it has been revealed.

Plastic straws, stirrers, condiment sachets, plastic cutlery, disposable water bottles and coffee cups have been all purchased in huge portions throughout the Palace of Westminster, a Freedom of Data request by environmental charity Surfers Towards Sewage (SAS) confirmed.

Regardless of the Authorities’s launch of a 25-year environmental plan with a deal with tackling plastic waste, knowledge confirmed the Houses of Parliament bought greater than two million single-use plastic objects in 2017, together with 200,000 comfortable drink bottles.

Labour MP Kerry McCarthy stated it was time for Parliament to get its “home so as” and take a lead on the nationwide problem of throwaway plastic. 

“The current collection of Blue Planet II has delivered to public consideration the intense harm plastic is inflicting to our marine life and habitats,” she stated. “Stress is rightly rising on all of us to take motion to scale back our plastic footprint.”

A separate investigation by the Liberal Democrats revealed the Commons used virtually four million disposable espresso cups over the previous 5 years. It confirmed the chamber’s catering service purchased 500 reusable “preserve cups” in 2013, however solely 4 of them had been bought by 2017. 

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A Home of Commons spokesperson instructed The Impartial it was “dedicated to decreasing the quantity of waste throughout the parliamentary property” and that it operated a blended recycling scheme “to make sure as a lot as doable of our waste is recycled”.

“The Home Service is presently reviewing the sustainability and environmental administration of single use disposable plastics within the Home of Commons,” he added. 

The UK presently makes use of seven million disposable espresso cups day-after-day. Although typically thought-about recyclable, paper espresso cups are lined with a layer of plastic that makes them not possible to course of in regular recycling services. It means the overwhelming majority of espresso cups find yourself being incinerated or despatched to landfill.


A breakdown of single-use plastic objects purchased by the Homes of Parliament in 2017 (Surfers Towards Sewage)

The Impartial has launched its Cut the Cup Waste marketing campaign to assist deal with the issue.

Hugo Tagholm, SAS chief govt, stated: “The engine to drive the warfare on plastic waste is within the Palace of Westminster the place our elected politicians can go progressive new laws to decouple society from its habit to avoidable, single-use plastics. 

“They need to additionally set an instance in refusing avoidable plastics, and ship a powerful message to the world.”

Following an investigation, MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee referred to as for the Authorities to introduce a 25p “latte levy” on disposable espresso cups. 

They stated the estimated three billion espresso cups thrown away within the UK every year ought to all be recycled by 2023. Failing that, they need to be banned outright, the committee stated.

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