City Corporation aims to be plastic free by 2021


The City of London Corporation has approved plans to eradicate unnecessary single-use plastic waste at Guildhall and Mansion House by spring 2020, and the entire organisation by 2021.

The authority will bring in new staff procurement rules and work with its contractors to roll out the policy across its supply chain, in a bid to reduce its environmental impact.

Unnecessary multi-use plastic waste – like plastic folders and wrapping – will also be eliminated, and other non-plastic products such as paper towels, will be minimised.

The City Corporation is a major public services provider in the Capital. 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. It is also an investor in properties and other corporate buildings.

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

A total of 67 City businesses and organisations together employing over 73,000 people have so far joined the campaign.

Some 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.

As part of the scheme, the City Corporation is installing 10 new water refill points across the Square Mile this year, taking the total to 17.

In the last 12 months, six of its existing refill points have issued over 60 cubic metres of water – equivalent to more than 120,000 plastic bottles. Jeremy Simons, chair of the corporation’s environmental services committee, said: “We are continuing to fight back against plastic waste and demonstrating our own ongoing commitment to reducing our impact on the environment.

“And the support for our campaign continues to go from strength to strength, with more City workers making their stand to turn the tide on what is a global crisis.

“By working together, we can all play our part in reducing the use of unnecessary
plastic – shaping the environmental legacy we want to leave behind.” Research commissioned by the City Corporation found that driving down single-use plastics is good for business as well as the environment.

In the survey, 80% of Generation Z (18-22 year olds) ranked tackling single-use plastics as important or very important for employers – and 37% said they would consider a potential employer’s environmental responsibility when looking for a job.

You can take the Plastic Free City pledge at