National Assembly leads the way in single-use plastics
On World Environment Day (Tuesday, 5 June), the National Assembly for Wales is pleased to announce it is phasing-out disposable plastics wherever possible, by September 2018.
Plastic water cups will be replaced by compostable bio plastic and paper alternatives as existing stocks are used up.
Disposable cutlery and salad pots will also be replaced with a compostable plastic that breaks down over time. Take-away containers themselves have already been replaced with a card-based material.
The Commission will raise awareness of the new products internally, and encourage staff to think about the necessity of single-use items, whether or not they were made from plastic.
The Assembly removed disposable coffee cups from the estate more than five years ago; something other public-sector organisations are only now implementing.
None of the Assembly's waste goes to landfill; the Commission operates a full recycling and recovery service for all products from the estate.
Our work over the next year will look beyond removing single-use plastic and actually target suppliers to reduce overall volumes of packaging handled.
"The National Assembly for Wales has been at the forefront of environmental and sustainable practices since its inception," said Caroline Jones AM, Assembly Commissioner with responsibility for security and resources.
"The Senedd is a great example of our ethos with its biomass boiler and rainwater harvesting systems.
"As we have seen through powerful programmes like the Blue Planet, plastic can have a devastating impact on our environment. While 80-90 per cent of our waste is recycled and none sent to landfill, the Assembly Commission has been working towards phasing out the use of plastics across the Assembly estate.
"I am proud to say we will be single-use plastic free by September 2018, setting a benchmark for organisations in Wales and across the UK to follow."
The National Assembly for Wales is also pleased to announce it recently achieved an internationally renowned standard for environmental management.
The Commission has operated an environmental system covering its whole estate for more than ten years, but the decision was taken recently to upgrade the certification to the full ISO14001 standard. This environmental standard requires an organisation to control all their environmental impacts and set targets to reduce them.
Some of the improvements the Assembly has recently made include:
Achieving zero waste-to-landfill;
Reduced our energy emissions by 27% against our baseline year;
Switched more lights over to LEDs;
Installed more efficient heating and cooling equipment.