The Queen has given the royal seal approval to attempts to reduce single-use plastics, banning straws and bottles from her Royal estates.
The new measures outlined by Buckingham Palace will include phasing out the use of plastic straws in the Royal Collection cafes, banning them entirely in staff dining rooms, and using biodegradable packaging along with china plates, glasses or recyclable cartons. These new rules be followed by royal employees at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
‘Across the organisation, the Royal Household is committed to reducing its environmental impact,’ a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said. ‘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.’
Members of staff will also receive a regular ‘green’ newsletter with updates on the progress of the new initiative.
It’s believed that the Queen took a personal interest in the project after discussing the problem of single-use plastics and their environmental implications with David Attenborough, when the pair collaborated for a documentary about wildlife in the Commonwealth.
The special programme, which is set to air later this year, focused on the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project, which connects conservation projects across the 52 member states of the Commonwealth. In a clip released by ITV, the Queen and Attenborough shared jokes as they discussed the project’s future impact.
Commenting on the Palace’s decision, Friends of the Earth’s Julian Kirby said: ‘Blue Planet’s reach now extends to the Royal households which shows how much momentum is building behind the war on plastic pollution.’
‘From small-holdings to Sandringham, everyone is sick of this problem and wants it fixed. Ultimate responsibility remains with manufacturers and government to stop this senseless harm to our environment, with its resultant devastation to wildlife.’