The UK Parliament has launched a new range of compostable products as part of broader efforts to eliminate single-use avoidable plastics from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords by next year.
MPs and peers will now get plant-based products, including certified compostable single-use cutlery, coffee cups and lids, soup containers, takeaway food containers, salad boxes, and drinking straws.
The new compostable range comprises sustainably sourced board, and biopolymers PLA and CPLA which are obtained from plant starch.
The move, which is expected to significantly reduce single-use plastics in the UK Parliament, comes after the Parliament introduced reusable coffee cups in June this year, with more than 1,000 cups sold so far to MPs, Peers, visitors, and staff.
As part of the environmentally friendly measures, Parliament will set up new waste bins to capture used compostable items, which will then be dispatched to a specialist waste facility.
At the facility, an in-vessel composting method will ensure the waste is converted into compost.
The Commons Administration Committee chairman Paul Beresford said: “The measures we are introducing are ambitious and wide-ranging, covering not just coffee cups but an array of items from plastic bottles, our new compostable products, to condiment sachets and stationery.
“Our aim is to remove, as far as possible, disposable plastic items from the Parliamentary Estate. Our challenging targets reflect Parliament’s commitment to leading the way in environmental sustainability.”
It is expected that the roll-out of the new range in both Houses will be completed by next month.
Furthermore, bottled water will be removed starting next month.
Parliament expects this measure will immediately eliminate 120,000 plastic bottles from circulation per annum.
Under the next phase, retail outlets on the Parliamentary Estate will phase out plastic carrier bags and greener stationery items will be promoted.
In addition, Parliament will trial reusable warehousing, delivery and packaging solutions.