Wates bans single-use plastic cups on London scheme

single-use plastic cups

Wates Residential has banned single-use plastic cups on one of its London developments and is looking to roll out the policy to all of its sites

The pilot scheme at the mixed-used Abbey Area redevelopment in Camden, where Wates is building 141 homes along with commercial and retail space, will see cups replaced by reusable bottles for the entire workforce.

Thames 21, a charity working to improve London’s waterways, has previously reported that 10% of items washed up on the Thames’ foreshores are single-use plastic bottles.

The Abbey Area redevelopment had previously used an estimated 120,000 cups a year, at a cost of just over £1,300.

Over 10 years, Wates forecasts that swapping to reusable bottles could save around £4,350 per site, as well as reducing landfill by around 5,000 kg and helping to tackle litter and marine pollution.

The proposal to switch to reusable bottles, which are being provided by a social enterprise, was put forward by Wates document controller Denise Southard after she saw the severe effects of plastic pollution on the marine environment in the BBC documentary Blue Planet II.

“After watching Blue Planet II and seeing the horrific damage that plastic can have on the environment, I was inspired to encourage others to reduce their plastic waste,” she said.

“Wates Residential has been extremely supportive in this and I am proud to work for a company that has embraced my idea so wholeheartedly. I can’t believe how easy it was to implement a simple swap from disposable cups to reusable bottles and hope other businesses are encouraged to do the same.”

Paul Nicolls, managing director of Wates Residential South, said: “We hope this commitment will not only drive change across our sites, but will also lead to new ambitions in the wider industry. We believe cutting down on avoidable plastic waste is the right thing to do and we are proud to be doing our bit to protect our Blue Planet.”


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