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16 March - Data survey & litter pick

On Saturday 16th March, City of London Corporation Plastic Free City supporters took part in a data suvery and litter pick on the River Thames at Queenhithe as part of a programme of events to celebrate World Water Day on Friday 22nd March.

Volunteers from the City of London Corporation, charity Thames21, the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators, and financial services firms Nomura and Goldman Sachs helped to pick litter and conduct a survey of what was found.

The survey will contribute to data gathered by Thames21 on plastics contained in the River Thames.

The City Corporation’s Plastic Free City campaign helps Square Mile firms reduce the use of single-use plastics by signing up to a pledge scheme. It will also see 10 new City drinking fountains installed this year and create a network of water bottle refill stations in the City’s pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants.

Jeremy Simons, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, said:

“These litter picks help remove plastic from our waterways and build a better picture of the health of the river.

“Our Plastic Free City campaign will transform the way the Square Mile approach single-use plastics.

“There is a huge public desire to reduce the impact plastic is having on our environment and it is important that City workers, residents and visitors understand the impact and how they can be more sustainable.”

The City of London Corporation acts as the London Port Health Authority, the largest port health authority in the UK.

As the London Port Health Authority, the City of London Corporation is responsible for all port health functions on the Thames, including food safety and hygiene including water quality, shellfish controls and environmental controls.

20 March - new Refill point at bow churchyard

The first of 10 new City water refill points to be rolled out this year has been installed in Bow Churchyard Cheapside, as part of the City Corporation’s Plastic Free City campaign. 

The water refill point, sponsored by the Cheapside Business Alliance (CBA), comes as 43 business across the Square Mile joined the City Corporation’s war on single-use plastic waste. Together, these 43 companies employ over 61,704 people.

 149 of the City’s pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants have also become part of a network of water bottle refill stations, where the public can refill reusable water bottles – all found on the Refill app.

The campaign is a rallying call to businesses and individuals to reduce single-use plastics across the Square Mile.

It will see nine more City water refill points installed this year near transport hubs, in parks and squares, and other areas of high footfall.UK adults use nearly 7.7 billion single-use plastic water bottles each year – that’s around 150 per person

Jeremy Simons, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, said:  “Our ambition is to make the City of London free of single-use plastics and harness the clear desire amongst City workers, residents and visitors to eliminate their use.

 By the end of the year, we will have brought the total number of water refill points across the Square Mile to 17.

“These points are a visible demonstration of our commitment to reducing and eradicating unnecessary single-use plastics which are blighting our waterways and damaging our environment.”

Anne O’Neill, Chair of the Cheapside Business Alliance, said:  “There is no doubt that we could all do more to limit our use of single-use plastics – and reusable bottles and public water refill points are playing a vitally important role.

 “This water refill point will give people in the area a place to refill and help drive down the use of disposable plastic water bottles.”

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21 March - WET10 Lecture - Oceans Plastics

As part of the City of London Corporation’s ‘Plastic Free City London” campaign, The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators are hosting the annual Wet 10 lecture with two eminent specakers who will discuss the harm sociey’s reliance on plastic is causing.  Are there solutions to this global environmental challenge?

Speakers: Professor Richard Thompson OBE, Professor of Marine Biology, Plymouth University – Subject matter; Marine Litter and Lynette Dollar, Principal Sustainability Consultant, Stantec – Subject matter; Plastic: Advantages vs Disadvantages.

This is an invitation only event. Venue: Guildhall Members Club from 5.30 - 8.00pm. Form more information contact

22 March - World water day - Celebration

The City of London Corporation in association with the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators and The Cheapside Business Alliance is hosting a full lunchtime programme of events and an exhibition in The Guildhall Yard. from 12 - 2pm on Friday 22nd March. 

The Plastic Free City Campaign stand will be sharing advice and information on what you can do to reduce single use plastics in business operations and your daily life and improve the environment and save money.  We can help you sign up to the Plastic Free City pledge and joing the growing band of businesses in the Square Mile who are helping us to help make a real difference.

The Water Conservators will be launching their “Taking COntrol of Your Environment initiative” which focuses on using water wisely, what goes down the drain and what mustn’t, and the impact of plastic waste in rivers and oceans.

The Cheapside Business Alliance will explaining how they help their members improve their environment and the local community. 

The Water Conservators will be displaying their ‘Magic Tap’ and launching their “Taking Control of Your Environment” focussing on using water wisely, what not to put down the drain and plastic waste in rivers and oceans.

Thames 21 will be there explaining about the work they do to clear plastics from the River Thames and the Big Bottle Count they are conducting on Saturday 23rd March at Hammersmith.

Thames Estuary Partnership will be highlighting the #”one less” campaign and what they are doing encourage people to use reusable bottles.

The City of London Corporation’s Recycling Team explaining what we are doing to improve recycling across he Square Mile.

Hugh Myddleton School wil be displaying Albatrosses made from paper and waste plastics and how the plastic waste in the ocenas in threatening some species with extinction.  


For more details contact