Michael Gove used a throwaway coffee cup in Parliament today despite leading the Government’s war on single use plastics.
The Environment Secretary sipped from his disposable mug during evidence to a committee of MPs.
Mr Gove hit the headlines in January for handing out reusable coffee cups to all members of the Cabinet during a weekly meeting in Downing Street.
And he is pursuing policies to ban plastic straws in Britain, while Government buildings are all due to be stripped of single use plastics.
Michael Gove used a throwaway coffee cup in Parliament today (pictured) despite leading the Government’s war on single use plastics
Mr Gove hit the headlines in January for handing out reusable coffee cups to all members of the Cabinet during a weekly meeting in Downing Street (pictured with his own cup arriving at the meeting)
Other members of the Environment Committee were also using plastic cups during the hearing.
Sources close to Mr Gove declined to comment on why Mr Gove was using a disposable cup.
Current figures show less than one per cent of disposable coffee cups are recycled because the mix of plastic lining and cardboard makes them more difficult to process.
Mr Gove will be unlikely to repeat his gaffe in future.
Single use plastics will be virtually eliminated from cafes, bars and restaurants in Parliament within months, officials announced last month.
Parliament throws away 753,000 cups a year
In 2017, Parliament disposed of:
– 753,000 disposable cups plus 416,000 plastic lids
– 23,750 straws
– 330,000 condiment sachets
– 125,000 plastic water bottles
– 750,000 pieces of plastic cutlery
New compostable cups will be introduced for hot drinks but customers will be charged an extra 25p so-called latte levy for using them to ‘encourage’ use of reusable alternatives.
Water in plastic bottles will stop being sold this summer and sachets of condiments will be replaced by dispensers.
Sir Paul Beresford , chairman of the Commons Administration Committee, said the plans were pioneering.
‘The measures we are introducing are ambitious and wide-ranging, covering not just coffee cups but an array of items from plastic bottles and straws to condiment sachets and stationery.
‘Our aim is to remove, as far as possible, disposable plastic items from the Parliamentary estate.
The Government has vowed to slash the amount of single-use plastic used and thrown away in Britain every year to slash the number of items that end up in the see (file image)
‘Our challenging targets reflect Parliament’s commitment to leading the way in environmental sustainability.’
Around 150 million tonnes of plastic is languishing in the world’s oceans and the environmental catastrophe – highlighted by the BBC’s Blue Planet II series – sees a million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals die from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste.
From summer, compostable cups and cutlery will be introduced and plastic bottles of water will no longer be sold.
Plastic carrier bags will be replaced with paper ones in Parliament’s shops from 2019 and a ‘green’ stationery catalogue will be used to allow staff to select environmentally friendly products.
Rules will be changed to allow officials to consider the environmental impact of packaging when they are buying supplies and reusable packaging will be trialled in the estate’s warehouses.
The plans are expected to cost £246,000 in the first year.