Quite Admirable in the Queen

Queen Elizabeth is behind a royal push to cut plastic waste

Environmentalist David Attenborough with a leatherback turtle. The leatherback is the largest turtle on the planet, but its numbers have fallen catastrophically. (Gavin Thurston/BBC)

Queen Elizabeth has long expressed admiration for David Attenborough, an environmentalist with a track record of creating beautiful, compelling movies about our planet.

Most recently, he produced a conservation series called “Blue Planet II.” The seven-part documentary, which was broadcast on the BBC last year, showcased the weird and wonderful species of the oceans. But it also explored the disastrous effects of waste on the world’s waters.

The show was a hit in Britain, and it spurred top officials to take a serious look at reducing plastic waste. Britain’s environmental secretary, for example, told reporters that he was “haunted” by the program and that his department is considering initiatives such as a national bottle-return system, an increase in drinking-water fountains and a new push for people to use reusable coffee cups.

Now, Queen Elizabeth II also is pushing for environment-friendly changes in her own back yard. The Telegraph reports that she is behind Buckingham Palace’s new waste-reduction plans, which will ban plastic straws and bottles at all royal estates. Plastic straws will be phased out of public cafes at royal residences and banned from staff dining rooms. Royal caterers will be required

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