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Single use plastic (2017)

Request

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I would like to receive stats on a number of single-use plastic items used in the Houses of Parliament over the past 3 years.

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I would like to receive the number of items used across the estate in the format of Name, Number of Items used, for the years 2015, 2016, 2017.

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The items are:

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- Coffee Cups
- Coffee Cup Lids
- Individual Condiment Sachets (broken down into type e.g. Tomato Ketchup, Mayonaise, Vinegar etc)
- Single use serving milk portions
- Plastic Cutlery
- Plastic Straws
- Plastic Stirrers
- Individual butter portions
- Soft drink bottles
- Plastic Cups

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Response

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Please note that our response only deals with items purchased for areas for which the House of Commons is responsible. Some areas are the responsibility of the House of Lords, which is a separate public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act. You may wish to consider forwarding your request to them. Requests for information relating to the House of Lords should be directed to FOILORDS@parliament.uk.

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The House of Commons holds no records relating to the number of single-use plastic items used, as this is something we do not monitor.  However, we are able to supply you with details of relevant items purchased by the House.

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*Please note that our coffee cups are predominantly cardboard with a thin PET inner coating (rather than fully polystyrene, for example).  However, as these cups are single-use and currently cannot be recycled, we have included the purchase numbers for your information.

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We noted that you also asked for the amount of plastic cups used by the House.  Plastic cups are only used in very small quantities at various water coolers scattered around the parliamentary estate.  These are purchased occasionally by individual teams and offices as required, rather than from a central purchasing framework.  To locate and retrieve this information, we would have to ask upward of 100 teams if they held this data and then get them to search and collate their records to provide the relevant data. 
We estimate that the cost of complying with your request would exceed the appropriate time/cost limit laid down in section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) which, for the House of Commons is £600.  Under this section the House is not obliged to comply with your request and we will not be processing your request further.  However, if you were to make a new request for a narrower category of information, it may be that we could comply with that request within the appropriate limit, although I cannot guarantee that this will be the case. For example, you could refine your request to ask for plastic cups purchased by a specific team, for which further information can be found on the parliamentary website.

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Lastly, it may help you to know that the House of Commons already publishes information about sustainability measures undertaken by the Catering Team, and this is available on our website. We hope that is useful.