City of London Corporation policy chair, Catherine McGuinness, explains why creating an environmental legacy is a top priority for the Corporation and Square Mile workers alike.
At a time of ongoing uncertainty, and with so much attention on the political events unfolding in Westminster, it is easy to forget that there are other issues that are equally important.
And, of course, we’re not just talking about issues affecting us here in the City, but globally, too.
One matter that certainly needs our attention is our impact on the environment: specifically the way in which we use, consume, and manage single-use plastics.
The uncertainty around Brexit has meant that many residents and businesses have had to focus much of their time, effort, and resources on making sense of what’s happening and planning their own economic future.
And we know that, among the City’s inhabitants, there is a real commitment to reducing our environmental footprint.
We want to make sure our residents can go about their daily lives in a clean, plastic litter-free environment – and to help them use less disposable plastic.
That’s why this March we unveiled the first of 10 new City water refill points to be rolled out this year, as part of our Plastic Free City campaign – reducing the need for people to buy single-use plastic bottles of water.
The water refill point, sponsored by the Cheapside Business Alliance, comes as 43 businesses across the Square Mile joined our war on single-use plastic waste.
And 149 City pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants have become part of a network of water refill stations, where residents and members of the public can fill reusable bottles – all found on the Refill app.
Our Plastic Free City campaign is a rallying call for the City’s residents and workers to reduce single-use plastics across the Square Mile.
As part of the initiative, another nine water refill points will be installed this year near transport hubs, in parks, and squares, and other areas of high footfall.
These points are a visible demonstration of our commitment to reducing and eradicating unnecessary single-use plastics which are blighting our waterways and damaging our environment.
Taking action against single-use plastics is good for the environment, but it also makes good business sense.
Last year, we commissioned research which showed that four in five of the Generation Z workforce (those aged between 18 and 22) expect their employers to proactively protect the environment.
Of these, 80% ranked tackling single-use plastics as important, while 37% said that they would consider a potential employer’s environmental responsibility when looking for a job.
Our ambition is to make the City of London free of single-use plastics and harness the clear desire among residents, workers and visitors to eliminate their use.
Together, we can all play our part in transforming the way we use plastic – and shape the environmental legacy we want to leave behind.