Foreign Ministry is cutting down on plastic waste

The ministry released a statement saying that it would no longer use disposable cutlery, cups and plastic bottles.

Plastic spoons and forks. (photo credit: GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS)
Plastic spoons and forks.
(photo credit: GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS)

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided Wednesday to end the use of disposable kitchen utensils.

As part of its “Green Foreign Ministry” climate initiative, which has been in place since 2010, the ministry has decided that disposable cutlery, such as forks and cups, will be discontinued in its offices. The ministry will also limit the use and distribution of plastic water bottles, opting to distribute insulated water bottles to their staff. 

The "Green Foreign Ministry" project initiators, Yaron Reuveni from the Director’s Division along with Special Envoy for Climate Change and Sustainability and Ambassador Gideon Bachar, appealed to Israeli embassies around the world to adopt the principles and act on the changes spearheaded by the Israel office. 

"Climate change and green diplomacy are high-priority issues around the world and in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs” Bachar said. “The ‘Green Foreign Ministry’ initiative connects the global agenda to our daily lives as diplomats and citizens of the State of Israel." 

"We are drowning in disposable plastic and we all see its problematic effects on the cleanliness of the land and our quality of life," Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg said.

Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg speaking at the Berl Katznelson Center conference (credit: ARTHUR LANDA)Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg speaking at the Berl Katznelson Center conference (credit: ARTHUR LANDA)

The move comes ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference slated for early November. It will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, and is the 26th annual conference thus far. 

Plastic waste can take thousands of years to decompose compared to more natural materials that are far less harmful to the environment.