The UK’s Canary Wharf has become the first commercial centre to become plastic free in the world.
London’s financial area has been awarded the Plastic Free Community status by Surfers Against Sewage, the marine charity.
The news was announced on 5 June, World Environment Day, around a year after the Canary Wharf Group, the managing body of the centre, launched its scheme to reduce plastic consumption.
The centre has removed over 2mn items of avoidable single-use plastic and recycled over 4m coffee cups.
More than 1mn plastic straws from 83 retailers, which has eliminated all plastic straws from the area entirely.
“I’m delighted that Canary Wharf has achieved our Plastic Free Communities status, working to eliminate avoidable single-use plastics,” commented Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage.
“This is the world’s first commercial centre to achieve our status, demonstrating their leadership, commitment and on-going journey to reduce the use of avoidable single-use plastics across the Estate.”
“Tackling plastic pollution is vital from source to sea and business leadership will help us all reinvent our relationship with plastic.”
Canary Wharf Group targeted working with businesses and retailers to remove single use plastic, creating connections with local communities and schools, and holding events to raise awareness to achieve its goal.
“Canary Wharf’s Breaking The Plastic Habit programme is part of our long term commitment to deliver a future that’s truly sustainable at Canary Wharf,” stated Sir George Iacobescu, Chairman and Chief Executive of Canary Wharf Group.
“Our programme is designed to act as a blueprint for behavioural change and prompt wider action towards a single-use plastic-free future.”
“It is our hope that this forms part of Canary Wharf’s legacy for a sustainable city in which we transform our community and spark a wider, long-term change for the better; not just for now but for future generations.”