You’ll want to follow Queen Elizabeth’s lead.
It all started with a movie. Queen Elizabeth II worked with Sir David Attenborough on a documentary about creating forested parks in the Commonwealth in conservation efforts, and rumor has it the film sparked Her Majesty’s interest in going green.
Almost 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year, but they take more than 400 years to biodegrade. Over the last 60 years, only 9 percent of plastics has been recycled, while 79 percent—5.5 billion tons—is sitting in landfills or littering the environment.
In an effort to cut plastic waste, the Queen is taking matters into her own hands with some new house rules. “Across the organization, the Royal Household is committed to reducing its environmental impact,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman told The Telegraph. “As part of that, we have taken a number of practical steps to cut back on the use of plastics.”
The royals aren’t just talking the talk, either. Staff aren’t allowed to use straws in dining rooms anymore, and straws are being phased out from public cafes such as Buckingham Palace’s Garden Café.
Meanwhile, caterers at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and Edinburgh’s Holyrood Palace will be swapping out single-use dishes for china plates, and glasses or recyclable paper cups for plastic bottles. Royal Collection cafes will still have takeout options, but the containers will be biodegradable or compostable—no plastics to be found. “At all levels, there’s a strong desire to tackle this issue,” the spokesman said. Guess that’s just one more thing to add to these 15 surprisingly frugal habits of the royal family.
To follow Queen Elizabeth’s lead, try these 12 simple ways to reduce waste every day.