Canary Wharf Secures Plastic Free Community Status


On this year’s World Environment Day, London based property firm, Canary Wharf Group, has been awarded Plastic Free Communities Approved status by marine conservation charity Surfers against Sewage in recognition of its work to reduce single-use plastic at Canary Wharf.

Canary Wharf is the first district in London to achieve the status and is claimed to be the world’s first Plastic Free Commercial Centre to be recognised by Surfers against Sewage.

  • In June 2018, Canary Wharf Group launched Breaking The Plastic Habit Programme to remove single-use plastic from the Estate. Highlights include:
  • Over 1.2 million items of avoidable single-use plastic have been eliminated
  • Over 4 million coffee cups have been recycled. If you stand these cups side by side they would stretch from London to Durham
  • Removal of over 1 million plastic straws with 83 retailers on the Estate removing plastic straws entirely
  • Over 100,000 water bottles have been reused across seven water refill stations
  • Over 19,000 bottles recycled using the UK’s first deposit Return Vending machine, rewarding users for recycling their plastic bottles
  • A new Sea Bin positioned in middle dock collects 30kg of plastic a month from the waterways at Canary Wharf.

To reduce its plastic footprint and secure this accreditation, Canary Wharf Group committed to achieve targets across five key areas set out by Surfers Against Sewage. These elements included taking action with businesses and retailers to remove single use plastic, forging links with local communities and schools; and holding events to raise awareness.   

Canary Wharf Group also piloted the HELPFUL app, designed to help anyone at Canary Wharf to correctly recycle their waste, make the switch to reusable products to avoid single-use plastic and earn rewards at the same time.

“This is the world’s first commercial centre to achieve our status, demonstrating their leadership, commitment and on-going journey to reduce the use of avoidable single-use plastics across the Estate,” said Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage.

“London is an ocean city, with the tidal Thames running through its heart, and Surfers Against Sewage is delighted to see ocean activism taking hold within such a globally renowned business centre overlooking this iconic river,” he continued.

“Tackling plastic pollution is vital from source to sea and business leadership will help us all reinvent our relationship with plastic,” concluded Tagholm.

Sir George Iacobescu, Chairman and Chief Executive, Canary Wharf Group added: “Canary Wharf’s Breaking The Plastic Habit programme is part of our long term commitment to deliver a future that’s truly sustainable at Canary Wharf.

“Our programme is designed to act as a blueprint for behavioural change and prompt wider action towards a single-use plastic-free future. It is our hope that this forms part of Canary Wharf’s legacy for a sustainable city in which we transform our community and spark a wider, long-term change for the better; not just for now but for future generations.”

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