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’ is a 12-month programme 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.
The programme forms part of our wider sustainability strategy, ‘Making Sustainability Real’, which addresses the current economic, environmental and social needs of our stakeholders and anticipates those of tomorrow.
The programme launched with a cross-sector panel debate on World Environment Day, June 2018. The debate engaged multiple industries to understand the common issues with single-use plastic. The event focused on how we, as a ‘Micro City,’ can influence and drive impactful change to create a model that commercial centres, business and communities can follow globally.
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 our employees, tenants and visitors. We want to challenge the throwaway culture by encouraging people to rethink their own usage and break the habit with collective impact.
A comprehensive audit report identified the most used items across the Estate. These include plastic straws, coffee cups, plastic bottles, plastic bags and food service items such as plastic cutlery and stirrers. Throughout the programme, these five essential items will be targeted through a series of innovations, technologies and behavioural change campaigns to ultimately, remove and reduce their use.
Breaking The Plastic Habit marks our commitment to embedding a cultural shift that we believe will influence other communities outside of our space. We know it won't be easy, but it's important to us because it’s important to our employees, our tenants and the 120,000 people that visit the Estate every day.
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