The Queen is cracking down on plastic, with palace staff told to ditch straws, eat from china plates and drink from glass bottles. Environmentally friendly strategies have been put in place at Buckingham Palace as a spokesman told of a ‘strong desire’ to tackle the issue of plastic in royal residences. Plastic bottles will no longer be seen in staff canteens or meeting rooms, and plastic straws will also be phased out at public cafes.
Packaging for takeaway food must now be compostable or biodegradable, and cardboard boxes used to shift materials between sites will be re-used many times to avoid waste.
The Queen is thought to have taken a personal interest in plastic since working on a documentary about wildlife conservation with Sir David Attenborough.
The pair, both 91, were pictured laughing and joking last year as they discussed the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project – which will set up forested conservation parks across 53 countries.
And Prince Charles, who regularly speaks about the scourge of plastic, told a conference last month: ‘The nightmare result of eight million tons of plastic entering the ocean every year is set to get worse rather than better. We cannot, indeed must not, allow this situation to continue.’
To raise awareness among staff, Buckingham Palace employees are sent a ‘green newsletter’ reminding them to reduce waste.
The eco-friendly rules are understood to have been in place for some time at Clarence House.
From 2016 to 2017, Buckingham Palace made a 5.1 per cent reduction in waste, reports show.
As part of the pledge, solar panels will be installed on its roof within the next ten to 15 years. Kensington Palace has also taken measures to reduce waste.
The new measures mean that companies applying for royal warrants will need to comply with environmental criteria.
Richard Harrington, of the Marine Conservation Society, said: ‘This shows real leadership and sets a great example. It will also incentivise businesses to reduce the amount of plastic they routinely use.’
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘The Royal Household is committed to reducing its environmental impact. 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.’