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Year in review: how London went greener in 2018

Angela Hui

In January, the government announced plans to eliminate all plastic waste in Britain within the next 25 years, from banning plastic microbeads to ditching plastic straws. It couldn’t have come sooner. Londoners throw away enough straws to fill 1,000 Royal Albert Halls every year. Yikes! Emma Priestland, plastic pollution campaigner at Friends of the Earth, says we have that episode of ‘Planet Earth’ to thank for the rise in awareness. ‘It’s gained so much attention as an issue, and it’s not just people wanting to ditch plastic individually,’ she says. ‘We’re more keen than ever before to put pressure on the politicians and companies who are responsible for plastic pollution.’ It’s working. Sadiq Khan has announced big plans to introduce more water fountains, there has been a rise in zero-waste supermarkets in the capital and hundreds of venues have switched to paper straws. Life’s fantastic without plastic!

In numbers

2 billion
The number of plastic straws that are thrown away in London

Read our full list of ways London changed in 2018

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