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In a huge step towards helping to protect the planet’s marine life, the Queen of England has banned the use of all plastic straws and bottles from royal estates.

“Across the organization, the Royal Household is committed to reducing its environmental impact. As part of that, we have taken a number of practical steps to cut back on the use of plastics,” explained a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace. They added,  “at all levels, there’s a strong desire to tackle this issue.”

British Newspaper, The Telegraph reported, “[i]nternal caterers at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh will now only be allowed to use china plates and glasses, or recyclable paper cups.” Additionally, take away packaging in Royal Collection cafes are now required to be made from compostable or biodegradable materials.

Queen Elizabeth II recently worked alongside Sir David Attenborough on a documentary that discussed the conservation of wildlife within the commonwealth. It is believed that during this time she took a personal interest in tackling plastic-waste problems. The Prince of Wales, or Prince Charles as he is more commonly known,  is also a passionate environmentalist and often speaks out about the damage that dumped plastic can cause to the oceans.

Brits alone use 7.7 billion single-use plastic water bottles every year, less than half of these are recycled. That’s 16 million bottles tossed into British rubbish bins every single day. Whilst there are some conscious consumers who are opting to ‘stop sucking‘ and choose reusable metal or glass straws, it’s lesser-known quite how deep the plastic problem runs. Every year, over 300 million tons of plastic are produced across the globe and around 10% of this ends up floating in the ocean. By 2050, the sea is expected to have more plastic than fish and other sea life.

Tragically, marine animals can’t digest plastic, leaving bits of this waste wedged in their bodies, digestive system, and orifices, leaving them in an often fatal predicament.  It is estimated that those who eat seafood, also ingest a whopping 11,000 pieces of microplastic every year.

Through introducing new measures to prevent further plastic-waste, with hope, the Queen is leading England towards a cleaner, ‘bluer’ future.


Image Credit: Buckingham Palace Shop