Parliament to replace plastic items with compostable alternatives

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The UK Parliament has announced that it is replacing its existing single-use plastic items with a new range of compostable alternatives. 

These alternatives include certified compostable single-use cutlery, coffee cups and lids, soup containers, takeaway food containers, salad boxes and drinking straws. 

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New waste bins will also be introduced for compostable items, which will then be sent to a specialist waste facility.  

This year’s REB Market Intelligence Summit is taking place on 2 October and will look at end destinations for materials. Find out more here   

An in-vessel composting method will use a combination of heat and microbes to turn the waste into compost fit for any garden. 

Compostable products are just one of the several initiatives announced earlier this year by Parliament, with the aim of phasing out single-use avoidable plastics from both Houses by 2019. 

Chair of the Commons Administration Committee Paul Beresford MP said: “I am delighted to see significant progress being made in tackling single use avoidable plastics in Parliament. 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.” 

The new compostable products are provided by UK based company Vegware, through Parliament’s supplier WK Thomas, and is made from sustainably-source board, and biopolymers PLA and CPLA which are made from plant starch.  

Materials in this range of products are made to biodegrade at the same rate as paper and the process results in a high-quality compost, according to Vegware. 

The new compostable range in both Houses will be complete by October.  

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