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Boris Johnson orders ban on avoidable single-use plastics from FCO's UK operations

PKBR Staff Writer Published 28 February 2018

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has ordered plastic to be binned from Britain’s diplomatic network.

A ban has been ordered on avoidable single-use plastics from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office's (FCO) UK operations by the end of 2018.

The order also includes eliminating avoidable single-use plastics at its global operations by 2020.

Recently, the FCO has replaced all plastic cups, crockery, cutlery, straws and single-use condiment sachets with re-usable or biodegradable alternatives at its staff canteen in London.

A deadline of year-end 2018 has been set for FCO to find alternatives to the remaining avoidable single-use plastics which are currently in use in its UK estate.

Johnson said: “It is time for the world to truly wake up to the damage being done to the environment, and especially by the sheer volume of plastic that is dumped in our oceans.

“If the UK is to turn the tide overseas on this crucial issue, it is only right that the Foreign Office leads the way at home.”

The FCO is also planning to increase the latte levy from 10p to 50p on disposable cups in order to encourage staff to use their own mugs.

Foreign Office permanent under-secretary Simon McDonald said: “Since 2009 to 2010, the Foreign Office has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 39%, waste by 45%, paper consumption by 42% and water use by 12.9 million liters in our UK operations.

“But we must do more to reduce our use of plastic. I am confident we can meet the challenge put to us by the Foreign Secretary.

“In addition, the FCO is looking at how it can further reduce its environmental impact beyond plastic. Projects identified for consideration include replacing existing vehicles with electric hybrid vehicles, waste to energy projects, and a global automated energy monitoring and reduction program.”

Last month, UK government has announced its plan to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste in the country by 2042. The move is a part of the government’s winder 25-Year Environment Plan.


Image: The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office building in London. Photo: © Crown copyright.