Soda Machines And Mass Mail Restrictions: Iceland's Parliament Responds To Climate Change - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Soda Machines And Mass Mail Restrictions: Iceland’s Parliament Responds To Climate Change

Published January 30, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Timothée Lambrecq

Installing a soda machine in the Parliament cafeteria has reduced the number of plastic bottles the legislature uses, the Environment Agency of Iceland says. Restrictions and regulations on mass mailings have also reduced plastic use.

Last October, Iceland’s Parliament became a participant in the Green Step initiative, a campaign launched by the Agency in the hopes of making workplaces and residences alike more environmentally friendly.

In an announcement from the Agency, they reveal that just by purchasing a soda machine, and using refillable bottles given to parliamentarians by Parliament, the legislature has managed to reduce their use of plastic bottles by 87%, translating into a reduction of 2,500 plastic bottles each year.

In addition, Parliament is a large recipient of mass mailings, many of them arriving in plastic envelopes. These mailings can measure up to some 40kg per month. In an effort to reduce plastic use in these mailings, Parliament introduced new restrictions on them. To wit, they have put the maximum number of issued official reports at eight (one for each party) and that similar circulations not be wrapped in plastic, but be sent in electronic form when possible.

Further, an undisclosed greater number of parliamentarians are now biking to work, and a charging station for electric cars was installed. Parliament also increased its recycling efforts, with 72% of its waste in 2017 recycled.


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