The Queen Bans Plastics Across Royal Estate in Response to Environmental Threats
“We are at a unique stage in our history. Never before had we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet and never before had we had the power to do something about it,” Blue Planet presenter Sir David Attenborough addressed his viewers in his closing message of the series. “Surely, we have a responsibility to care for our blue planet. The future of humanity and indeed all life on earth now depends on us,” he pleaded.
The closing remarks from the recently concluded series struck a chord with thousands of its viewers, who took to Twitter to express their support of the BBC program’s powerful message of taking action toward natural conservation. And one of Attenborough’s most influential fans is publicly taking a stance against excessive plastic use—a major issue that’s said to be endangering the environment and its wildlife.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has reportedly banned plastic straws and plastic water bottles at all public and private dining spaces across her estate and is also ensuring that food packaging is biodegradable, the Express reports.
This new effort comes after the monarch met with Attenborough regarding her organization, the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. The QCC aims to protect forests located in Commonwealth countries by creating a series of conservation projects.
Over the next few months we will also be sharing stories about The Queen's #CommonwealthCanopy project. The @queenscanopy launched in 2015 to encourage countries around the Commonwealth to dedicate forestry projects in Her Majesty's name. pic.twitter.com/43oTOYqlff— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) February 1, 2018
The 91-year-old Attenborough responded to the Queen’s valiant action in a speech he gave during a QCC reception, saying, “We are fortunate that you are still thinking about the future and how to make this a better world.”
I thank Her Majesty the Queen for showing great leadership by putting her name to the Commonwealth Canopy Project.— David Attenborough (@SirDavidBBC) January 30, 2018
We are fortunate that you are still thinking about the future and how to make this a better world. pic.twitter.com/5xr9LG4Gbc
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said, “Across the organization, the Royal Household is committed to reducing its environmental impact.” Through the Independent, the source continued, “As part of that, we have taken a number of practical steps to cut back on the use of plastics. At all levels, there’s a strong desire to tackle this issue.”
The news website also reported that in-house caterers at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse will have to use only china plates, glasses or recyclable paper cups.
Apart from this, the Telegraph reported that Buckingham Palace’s decade-long refurbishment will introduce environment-friendly features at the Queen’s official residence. These include updating the electric cabling and heating systems to accommodate newer, cleaner systems and considering the move to solar thermal panels, electrical heating, fuel cells, and ground source heat pumps. This effort extends beyond the palace, as brands applying for Royal Warrants must provide proof that their businesses are not causing pollution.
In a related report, Prime Minister Theresa May announced in January that the U.K. will take bigger steps to decrease the country’s plastic waste in a 25-year plan. Government officials urge supermarkets and other establishments to introduce plastic-free aisles, where food is displayed without packaging to encourage shoppers to make environment-conscious decisions and lessen the number of single-use packaging.
The Queen’s decision could either be in line with Attenborough or the British government’s growing determination to limit plastic waste. Whatever the reason behind it, the earth still benefits from the Queen’s choice.