London will be a zero waste city by 2050 as part of a series of ambitious targets laid out in the mayor of London’s new environment strategy.
Food and non-recyclable packaging will be at the heart of the waste strategy in light of data that shows food waste and single-use packaging, like coffee cups and plastic bottles, make up 30% of London’s municipal waste.
Only half of the 7m tonnes of waste produced by London’s homes and businesses each year is currently recycled, and landfill capacity is set to run out by 2026.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has set a target for no biodegradable or recyclable waste to be sent to landfill by 2026 and for 65% of London’s municipal waste to be recycled by 2030.
As part of a range of actions, the Mayor plans to work with businesses to prevent waste occurring in the first place by designing out food waste and unnecessary packaging, including investigating deposit return or community water refill schemes.
He also intends to cut food waste by 20% by 2025 by running campaigns to make businesses and Londoners aware of how they can waste less food and recycle more.
The strategy brings together approaches to every aspect of London’s environment and aims to deliver immediate improvements in areas such as air pollution, carbon emissions and resource efficiency, whilst laying the groundwork for a 2050 vision where London’s environment supports good health and quality of life.