The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chairman of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf.
House of Lords Catering and Retail Services (CRS) is taking a pro-active approach to reducing the use of disposable cups within the House’s catering facilities. The River Restaurant and Millbank House Restaurant both provide disposable cups, and in both areas CRS runs an incentive scheme for customers whereby the price of a hot beverage is reduced by 10p (broadly the price of a disposable cup) if a customer brings their own cup. We also provide china cups in the River Restaurant and Millbank House Restaurant and encourage customers to use these when they are dining in, instead of using a disposable cup.
Regarding procurement, CRS is not aware of a disposable cup for hot beverages that is fully bio-degradable, and until such a product becomes available CRS will have to continue with its current supply. CRS works closely with its suppliers to ensure it would become aware of any new appropriate products should they emerge.
Through the procurement process, CRS objectives include sourcing products that come from renewable sources (such as those supporting sustainable forestry or low carbon processes). The disposable hot beverage cups currently used are made from sustainable and recycled materials and are an insulated, double walled cup. This reduces disposable consumption by negating the need for an additional sleeve or the practice of customers doubling up cups if thinner, single walled cups are provided.
CRS has recently received accreditation from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and looks forward to working alongside the Association to implement innovative solutions for reducing the amount of total disposable products, including cups, that are used across the House of Lords catering venues.