Islington Council want to create one of London’s first-ever Low Plastic Zones (LPZs) to cut down on single-use plastic waste.
The council is working with the North London Waste Authority to create the LPZ on Cowcross Street in Farringdon, which aims to get over 50% of shops in the area to commit to reducing their plastic waste.
Participating businesses are asked to sign a Charter of Commitment to the LPZ, which includes committing to steps such as encouraging customers to use reusable coffee cups, water bottles and bags and offering items like milk and sugar in large refillable containers.
Several shops and restaurants in the area have already signed up to the scheme, and the council is encouraging other businesses to get involved.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: ‘We’re determined to take bold action to help reduce the use of single-use plastics, which are so harmful to our environment.
‘The Low Plastic Zone on Cowcross Street is a decisive, practical step towards cutting down on single-use plastics. We hugely welcome businesses that have signed up to the charter and we look forward to more businesses in the area signing up.’
Low Plastic Zones are an idea created by the NWLA, which covers the seven north London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest.
The authority covers over two million residents and helps them dispose of the 850,000 tonnes of waste they produce each year.
By 2020, the authority aims to achieve a 50% recycling rate in the seven boroughs and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill to 35% of 1995 levels.
Six of the NWLA’s seven boroughs now have areas participating in the LPZ initiative, including West Hampstead in Camden, Ridley Road Market in Haringey and Leytonstone High Street in Waltham Forest.
Cllr Clyde Loakes, chair of North London Waste Authority, said: ‘Low Plastics Zones are part of our work to encourage positive action amongst businesses and local communities to reduce the amount of waste we produce and tackle the climate emergency.
‘I’d encourage all Islington businesses to sign the Charter of Commitment pledge and replace at least one of the single-use plastic items they currently give customers.’
The UK is currently making significant efforts to cut down on its plastic waste, both at a local authority level and with help from national government.
The government is currently consulting on introducing a deposit return scheme for drinks containers in England and Wales, which it aims to start by no later than 2023.
Photo Credit – Islington Council