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Goldman Sachs offices ditch single-use plastics

New York

GOLDMAN Sachs Group Inc told employees on Wednesday it will no longer carry throw-away plastic items such as water bottles or cutlery in its offices and cafeterias, under the US bank's push to cut the amount of trash it puts in landfills.

Starting last week, Goldman cafeterias and vending machines globally swapped out plastic soda and water bottles for aluminium cans, glass bottles and compostable cups to be used for fountain drinks, said Cindy Quan, the bank's global head of Environment Social and Governance.

Throw-away plastic items have been the subject of bans by a growing number of countries and corporations because they often end up littering oceans and waterways.

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In December, the European Union agreed to ban by 2021 a list of 10 single-use plastic products; examples are plates, straws and drink stirrers.

The operator of luxury hotel chain Peninsula Hotels, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd, said it will stop using plastic bottles, packaging and bathroom amenities by 2020.

Ms Quan said Goldman is banning single-use plastics because they often ended up in the company's garbage instead of the recycling bin.

The bank has said it is trying to divert all of its business waste from landfills by 2020, and is 93 per cent of the way there, Quan said.

This step will reduce the amount of single-use plastics bank employees throw away by 85 per cent or to 6 tons, the bank said. REUTERS