The national anti-litter strategy document can be found here. And there is a handy summary of the main points over on Calvin’s Crime Prevention website here. He’s quite impressed but I’m not. It’s all a bit airy-fairy; intentions without any practical suggestions to achieve them.
The London Assembly report, on the other hand, does have a bit more substance. They identify plastic waste as a growing problem particularly plastic water bottles.
- Londoners consume more plastic bottled water per person than anywhere else in England.
- London has some of the worst recycling rates in the UK.
- Plastic bottles make up 10 per cent of all litter found in the Thames.
They also found
- More plastic bottles need to be recycled in London. In Germany, where DRS machines are located in places such as supermarkets, 99 per cent of plastic bottles are recycled
- Providing tap water as an alternative is essential.
- Three quarters of the flounder swimming in the Thames had consumed plastic.
- The Mayor should explore the feasibility of a DRS in London, with a view to trialling a nation-wide scheme. A DRS would offer an incentive for Londoners to return plastic bottles by adding a reclaimable amount to the price of bottled drinks.
- The Mayor should: - encourage community water refill schemes in which Londoners can fill up water bottles for free at participating venues; - install more water refilling stations across the London transport network; - promote apps to help consumers locate businesses willing to provide free water refills.
- The Mayor must address plastic water bottle waste specifically in his upcoming Environment Strategy.
“Plastic waste is out of control in London. It litters our parks, pollutes the Thames, harms marine life, and adds waste to London’s landfill sites, which may be full by 2025.
We have to turn the situation around. Firstly, Londoners need an alternative to buying bottles of water - this is a crucial part of the solution. Tap water needs to be more readily available. Secondly, we need to improve our recycling of plastic bottles. Currently, far too many end up in landfill or in the natural environment and London boroughs have some of the worst recycling rates in the whole of the UK.
Electors heard Sadiq Khan pledge to be the 'greenest Mayor London has ever had’, now it’s time to fulfil that promise by addressing our thirst for plastic bottled water.”