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The UK House of Commons has come under fire after it was revealed it used more than 600,000 single-use plastic items in the last financial year. 

According to a recent Freedom of Information request, in 2018/19 catering staff at the House of Commons bought 437,840 non-recyclable coffee cups, 90,888 single-use water bottles, and 22,788 single-use glass bottles.

‘Step up Theresa Villiers’ 

“Step up Theresa Villiers! Your Westminster clearly needs you,” said Founder of A Plastic Planet, Sian Sutherland.

“What kind of leadership are our MPs showing; debating environmental policies with a plastic water bottle in the other hand?

“A perfect demonstration of why we urgently need new legislation to reduce plastic usage. Another half million plastic items hitting our overflowing bins.”

‘Positive steps’

According to The Telegraph, a spokesperson for the House of Commons said: “Since May 2018, the House of Commons has taken many positive steps to reduce the use of single-use plastic items within our organization.

“The numbers relating to non-recyclable coffee cups, as well as plastic water bottles, are lower in the financial year 2018/19 due to the fact that from 1 October 2018 the House began purchasing compostable equivalents to non-recyclable standard plastic-lined coffee cups, and aluminum cans, to replace plastic water bottles.”

The spokesperson also added that since September 2018 the Committees have ‘only purchased compostable cold cups and all water bottles purchased are glass bottles’.

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.