City of London Corporation sets vision for Plastic Free City

New plans to drive down the use of single-use plastics in the City of London have been given the go ahead by its governing body.

The City of London Corporation’s plans for the ambitious project, which will begin later this year, will see a significant increase in the number of drinking fountains in the Square Mile. The City’s pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants will also be encouraged to register as bottle refill stations and sign up to a pledge scheme to reduce their own use of single use plastics, like straws, bottles, and cups.

The Plastic Free City initiative will see the City of London Corporation lead by example by reducing the provision of single-use plastics across all buildings it owns.

A public information campaign will be launched to encourage the use of re-usable containers and raise awareness of the damage caused by plastic litter along the City’s riverfront and bridges this summer.

Jeremy Simons, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environment Committee, said:

“The impact of single-use plastics on both littering and marine life cannot be ignored. We must aim to eliminate their use.”

“These plans are at an early stage but Plastic Free City will harness the clear public desire for change and reduce the impact that single-use plastics are having on our environment.”

The City Corporation is the port health authority for London, the largest port health authority in the UK, responsible for services on the River Thames, from Teddington to the English Channel. It protects public health by preventing infectious disease, ensuring water quality, making vessel inspections and enforcing environmental controls.

It is also responsible for keeping the City clean. The Square Mile is the world’s leading international financial centre and its 450,000 workers and 9,400 residents rightly expect the street scene to be of a very high standard in which to live and work.

In April 2017, the City Corporation, Hubbub and partners from across Square Mile launched the Square Mile Challenge, resulting in half a million coffee cups being recycled in April alone, with a total of four million to date. The campaign raised awareness in London and across the UK of the impact of coffee cup litter on the environment.


Media enquiries

Carl Locsin, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

T 020 7332 3654 / M 0738 862 229


Notes to editors

  1. About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:

  • We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.
  • We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.
  • We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.

See www.cityoflondon.gov.uk for more details.