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Lyric Hammersmith launches ambitious campaign to phase out plastic use

Plastic bottles floating on the ocean. Photo: Xavier Boulenger/Shutterstock Plastic waste is increasingly polluting the world's oceans and endangering marine life. Photo: Xavier Boulenger/Shutterstock
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The Lyric Hammersmith is planning to phase out single-use plastic across its organisation.

Single-use plastic is plastic that is only used once before it is thrown away, such as coffee stirrers, plastic bottles and straws.

Starting this month, the theatre has begun a #plasticfreelyric campaign to stop single-use plastic. While it is initially running in January, the venue has said it is hoping to roll out its changes long term.

The campaign began last week, when the theatre’s bar stopped selling bottles of water and offering plastic straws. Instead, the theatre offers tap water to customers and sells reusable bottles, which staff are also encouraged to use.

Staff are also urged to bring lunch in reusable boxes and discouraged from using plastic bags and disposable cups for tea and coffee. Audience members will receive a 20% discount for using a reusable cup at the bar.

Executive director Sian Alexander said the initiative was aimed at “focusing on reducing the amount of plastic we use and encouraging others to do this too”.

“Some steps are easy, like eliminating plastic straws; some require behavioural change and the creation of new habits which we can help incentivise, like offering discounts for coffees to customers with reusable cups and providing staff with reusable water bottles. Others are harder because they have financial implications, such as stopping the sale of water in plastic bottles and providing easy access to free filtered water instead,” she said.

She added: “But they are all important and responsible actions to take. We hope that our #PlasticFreeLyric campaign will help us to change the way we work and inspire others to do the same.’

In February, the theatre will host The Research Behind Blue Planet, a talk by academics from the University of Exeter, who provided research for the latest series of Blue Planet and the impact plastic use is having on oceans and marine life.

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