Council tops league of green product buyers

A new study carried out for London Mayor Ken Livingstone has revealed that Wandsworth is the highest spender among London boroughs when it comes to buying recycled products.

The research, carried out by recycling champions London Remade, shows that Wandsworth last year spent more than any other London borough on purchasing recycled products like paper, plastic bollards and plastic litter bins.

Recycled plastic has also been used in the manufacture of the Orange sacks now being used in the borough's new doorstep recycling service. Since the introduction of this simple and convenient service in April, household recycling levels in Wandsworth have increased by 132 per cent.

Overall the council bought more than 2.5 tonnes of recycled paper last year and almost 190 tonnes of recycled plastics. The total spend on recycled products was £461,000 - the highest amount for a London council.

London Remade estimate that Wandsworth's paper purchases alone saved more than 38 trees, nearly 80,000 gallons of water, 10,500 kilowatts of electricity and prevented more than 68 kilos of pollutants from contaminating London's air.

Investing in more environmentally-friendly products is a long standing policy of the council and echoes the commitments the council has made by signing up to the Mayor's Green Procurement Code, which aims to stimulate demand for new products that use recycled materials.

Cabinet member for corporate resources Cllr Maurice Heaster said: "Wandsworth has always believed strongly in the importance of sustainable development, and I am delighted that our long standing commitment towards protecting the environment has been recognised by this research.

"We are committed not only to increasing our own recycling levels, but also to tapping into the markets and products that use recycled materials. All of our Orange sacks use recycled plastic and there are other products we are now buying on a regular basis that have been manufactured using recycled products like paper, litter bins and traffic bollards.

"We will continue to explore all the new markets that are developed by the recycling industry. If they can come up with products that satisfy our requirements, then we will always actively consider investing in them."

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