City firms cutting out plastic dominate environmental awards


City firms cutting back on single-use plastics swept the board at London’s top environmental gongs.

The Bank of England, Bow Lane Dental Group, Linklaters and Standard Chartered Bank dominated the Clean City Awards, run by the City of London Corporation.

Together, they cut over a million sets of single-use plastic cutlery, and tens of thousands of plastics cups, water bottles and plastic toothbrushes. Hundreds of thousands of plastic coffee cups were also eliminated.

The scheme, held at Mansion House in the heart of the City, rewards firms leading the way in environmental waste management practice.

The 25th awards saw entries from 107 City businesses, including dentists, conference centres, iconic buildings and financial institutions.

The winners were:

  • Bank of England who have embedded a “reuse culture” within their workplace. Their “think before you drink” campaign has resulted in 80% fewer single use plastic items being used.
  • Bow Lane Dental Group for cutting 6,000 plastics cups, 1,000 plastic water bottles and over 7,500 plastic toothbrushes from their operations in the last year.
  • Linklaters for their “Ditch the Dispo” campaign which saved one million sets of plastic cutlery in just over two years.
  • Brookfield Properties (UKPM), 99 Bishopsgate for excellent communications around their recycling campaigns. They introduced four new recycling schemes and recycled over three tonnes of coffee grounds last year bringing their recycling rate up to 76%.
  • Standard Chartered Bank who swapped 75,000 single use plastic containers with reusable ones and cut their annual coffee cups usage by half a million.
  • Savills, The Leadenhall Building for doubling the amount of food waste collected for composting.
  • Buzzacott for eliminating single use plastic cups and cutlery and removing wooden stirrers from staff catering areas. The firm also cut deliveries to only one per week.
  • The Host Café and St Mary Aldermary Guild Church for managing waste responsibly and ensuring that all rubbish and recycling is correctly separated.

Jeremy Simons, chair of the City of London Corporation’s environmental services committee, said: “The Clean City Awards recognise how City businesses are pushing the boundaries on environmental sustainability.

“These firms are fully committed to reducing plastic, improving recycling and keeping the streets clean.

“Together we are taking steps to make the Square Mile free of single-use plastics and harnessing the clear desire of City workers, residents and visitors to eliminate their use.”

The City Corporation has pledged to eradicate unnecessary single-use plastic at Guildhall and The Mansion House by Spring 2020, and the entire organisation by 2021.

As a major London public services provider, it manages a wide portfolio including social housing across six London boroughs, 10 high-achieving academies, three wholesale markets and 11,000 acres of green space including Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest.

The City Corporation is also leading the Plastic Free City initiative – a rallying call to City firms to reduce and eliminate single-use plastics across the Square Mile.

149 City pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants have also become part of a network of water bottle refill stations, where the public can refill reusable water bottles – all found on the Refill app.

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