Queen bans plastic straws and bottles on royal estates after David Attenborough documentary

Buckingham Palace outlines new waste plans saying there is a 'strong desire to tackle the issue' in royal household following Sir David's documentary on wildlife in the Commonwealth

May Bulman
Monday 12 February 2018 00:21 GMT
Blue Planet shows mourning whales whose newborn may have been killed by plastic

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The Queen has banned plastic straws and bottles from the royal estates as part of a move to cut back on the use of plastics "at all levels".

Buckingham Palace outlined new waste plans and said there was a “strong desire to tackle the issue” in the royal household, in a move thought to be inspired by David Attenborough.

“Across the organisation, the royal household is committed to reducing its environmental impact,” said a spokesman for Buckingham Palace.

“As part of that, we have taken a number of practical steps to cut back on the use of plastics. At all levels, there's a strong desire to tackle this issue.”

The new measures include gradually phasing out plastic straws in public cafes and banning them altogether in staff dining rooms, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Internal caterers at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh will now reportedly only be allowed to use china plates and glasses, or recyclable paper cups.

Queen Elizabeth is thought to have developed a personal interest in the issue of plastic waste after working with Sir David on a conservation documentary dealing with wildlife in the Commonwealth.

She was filmed laughing and joking with the documentary-maker during the programme which discussed plants to create a network of national forested parks across the 52 countries of the Commonwealth.

The announcement comes amid a wider plastic strategy to tackle the issue of plastic waste across Europe, including plans by the EU to make all plastic packaging across the continent recyclable or reusable by 2030.

Other commitments include a reduction in consumption of single-use plastics and restrictions on the use of microplastics, such as microbeads found in some cosmetics.

Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s first vice-president, who is responsible for sustainable development, said of the plans in January: “If we don’t change the way we produce and use plastics, there will be more plastics than fish in our oceans by 2050."

As it stands, Europeans produce 25 million tons of plastic waste every year, but less than 30 per cent of this is recycled.

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