Eliminating Single Use Plastic at Canary Wharf - Making Sustainability Real

Canary Wharf is the world's first commercial centre to be awarded plastic free communities status 


On World Environment Day 2019, we are proud to announce that Canary Wharf is the first district in London, and the World's first commercial centre, to be awarded Plastic Free Communities status by Surfers Against Sewage.

For the past 12 months through our Breaking the Plastic Habit programme, we have been committed to achieving the Plastic Free Community status, an accreditation run by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), a leading environmental charity. To reduce its plastic footprint and secure this accreditation, Canary Wharf Group committed to achieve targets across five key areas set out by Surfers Against Sewage. These elements included taking action with businesses and retailers to remove single-use plastic, forging links with local communities and schools; and holding events to raise awareness.   

 This is not about removing all plastic on the Estate, but targeting specific, avoidable single-use plastic items and influencing a positive behavioural change amongst Canary Wharf stakeholders, encouraging them to rethink their own usage, and break the habit by incrementally and collectively moving away from throwaway plastics. Canary Wharf is the first district in London to achieve this sought-after status, which will be celebrated at our World Environment Day Event on Wednesday 5th June, where we are hosting a Youth Takeover, moderated by Surfers Against Sewage CEO, Hugo Tagholm.


Surfers Against Sewage is a grassroots movement that has grown into one of the UK’s most active and successful environmental charities. Founded in 1990 by a group of Cornish surfers, the marine conservation charity works with communities to protect oceans, waves, beaches and marine life. 

Their plastic-free coastlines commitment fights plastic pollution at the source and through regular beach cleans, they galvanise a movement of volunteers to remove the pollution from UK beaches. More recently the charity has created the Plastic Free Community accreditation to tackle the issue head-on, from the beach all the way back to the brands that produce them.

Surfers Against Sewage believe it’s not about removing all plastic from our lives, but kicking our addiction to avoidable single-use plastic, and changing the system that produces it. Their Plastic Free Community accreditation shares the same objectives as Breaking The Plastic Habit which is why we’re committed to incorporating their criteria and becoming the first commercial centre to do so. 

Find out more about Surfers Against Sewage.



At Canary Wharf Group we believe single-use plastic is one of the biggest environmental and social issues facing us today. The UK consumes five million tonnes a year. It’s part of our everyday lives and, in most cases, is a useful material but after we’ve used it and thrown it away, it’s causing big problems for our planet. Breaking the Plastic Habit was a 12-month campaign launched in response to this global threat that will create a new culture of reduction, re-use and recycling to challenge single-use plastic within Canary Wharf.






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