The Queen bans plastic from the Royal estates in a bid to tackle waste

The Queen has banned plastic straws and bottles from the Royal estates in a bid to reduce waste.

Buckingham Palace said the Royal household had a “strong desire to tackle the issue” of plastic pollution.

The palace has confirmed that the Queen has decided to begin phasing out the use of plastic straws in public cafes on the estates and will ban them completely in staff dining rooms.

Caterers working at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh will be required to use only china plates and glasses, or recyclable paper cups. Takeaway food items in cafes must now be stored in compostable or biodegradable packaging.

The Prince of Wales speaks to discuss plastic waste (AFP/Getty Images)

There will also be steps to reuse packaging used to move goods and materials between different royal sites and officials will be circulating a “green newsletter” to staff regularly. 

Prince Charles has previously been an outspoken campaigner around the “extremely grave and urgent” issue of dumping plastic in the world’s oceans.

In January, Charles said in a speech at the British Academy that the “nightmare” of plastic waste is set to get worse as he praised moves to highlight awareness around the issue.

Buckingham Palace: The building is being refurbished to make it more environmentally friendly (Getty Images)

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “Across the organisation, the Royal Household is committed to reducing its environmental impact.

“As part of that, we have taken a number of practical steps to cut back on the use of plastics. At all levels, there’s a strong desire to tackle this issue.”

The palace recorded a 5.1 per cent reduction in waste tonnage during the financial year 2016/17.

The initiative is part of a series of changes being made at the palace in order to improve the carbon efficiency of the Royal households.

Companies now applying for Royal Warrants must now prove they are environmentally friendly and the Palace is undergoing a £369 million renovation designed to update it to make it more energy efficient. 

The plans are set to reduce the annual energy consumption of the Palace by 40 per cent.

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