First low plastic zone launched in London

Written by: Maddie Ballard | Published:
The Low Plastic Zone initiative was created to help local businesses reduce their use of single-use plastic

The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has partnered with the seven north London boroughs to launch the first ever Low Plastic Zone in the Cowcross Street area of Islington.

Over three quarters of businesses (79%) in the area have permanently reduced the single-use plastic they give to customers.

Key shopping areas within the other six boroughs of Haringey, Camden, Barnet, Enfield, Hackney, and Waltham Forest are expected to reach Low Plastic Zone status in the coming weeks.

The Low Plastic Zone initiative aims to support local businesses to reduce the amount of single-use plastic they give to customers.

Launched today (5 February) at the Lazybones restaurant in Cowcross Street, it was created in response to consumer demand for less plastic.

According to a nationwide survey of 2,001 adults commissioned by NLWA in July 2019, 95% of people want local businesses to reduce their use of single-use plastic and 83% have made efforts to reduce their own use.

The survey showed that 17% of respondents have stopped buying a product because it wasn’t available without plastic packaging, 15% have eaten a takeaway meal with their fingers rather than accepting plastic cutlery, and 11% have travelled out of their way to use a lower-plastic company.

If two businesses were identical in every other way, 93% of respondents said they would shop at the one that had cut down on single-use plastic.

Additionally, seeing the amount of single-use plastic on offer in shops and restaurants left many respondents feeling worried about the future (38%), frustrated (34%), sad (26%), or powerless (22%).

Councillor Clyde Loakes, chair of NLWA, said: “Our research shows that the majority of people are trying hard to reduce their use of single-use plastic but are frustrated at how difficult it is to avoid when shopping or eating and drinking on the go.

“Reducing the amount of waste we all create, and single-use plastics in particular, is essential for helping tackle the climate emergency.

“North London Waste Authority is committed to helping residents and businesses do this.

“We know that businesses want to reduce their environmental impact, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s good for business.

“People are telling us that they are more likely to use companies who are taking action in this area so we are confident that this flagship initiative will be a win-win-win: for businesses, for consumers, and, of course, for the planet.”

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