● Today Heart of London Business Alliance, Veolia and Westminster City Council introduce the Hart of London, a Christmas sculpture designed to remind the public of the importance of minimising plastic waste consumption over the festive season
● The ‘Hart’ is a life size, illuminated deer - made out of 2,000 plastic bottles
● Designed by acclaimed artist Faith Bebbington, the stag was installed in St. James’s Church gardens in the West End on Sunday 2 December
● The installation includes ‘tap donation’ technology and lights up with every tap received, creating a magical festive moment for visitors
Monday 3 December 2018 – A deer is arriving in London’s West End this festive season, however, he won’t be accompanied by Father Christmas or Rudolph. The illuminated, life-size white deer or ‘Hart’ – aptly named Hart of London - has been created to remind the public about plastic waste consumption, encouraging visitors to recycle and reuse plastic more this Christmas.
Heart of London Business Alliance, who represent over 500 businesses and 100 property owners in London’s West End has commissioned the sculpture in partnership with Veolia, the UK’s leading resource management company, and Westminster City Council. Created from over 2,000 plastic bottles donated by a multitude of businesses in the West End, the Hart of London aims to encourage consumers to remember the impact their plastic consumption has on the environment.
Designed by Liverpool based sculptor Faith Bebbington, Hart of London was installed in St. James’s Church Gardens on Sunday 2 December. The installation includes new tap donation technology, allowing visitors to contribute directly to the St. James’s Church charity at the tap of their payment card. The fixed £3 donation will go towards the Church’s work in the local community: free counselling services, night shelters for the homeless and support for asylum seekers. In addition, every donation will see the Hart of London light up with beautiful illumination, creating a magical, festive moment that visitors are sure to remember.
Throughout 2018, Heart of London Business Alliance and Veolia have been working on environmental initiatives across the West End, leading the sustainability agenda with Westminster City Council and ensuring the area remains an attractive and welcoming destination. The Hart of London installation is a celebration of this partnership and the services delivered to the area over the last year, which has seen over 1.05 million sq. metres of streets in the Heart of London area cleaned and 3.5 million pieces of chewing gum removed. As well as this, over 90 major businesses in London’s West End have now signed up to Heart of London’s preferred supplier’s scheme, which aims to consolidate freight and delivery traffic to improve air quality and reduce congestion. Heart of London have also worked with Veolia and Westminster City Council to introduce designated disposable cup recycling with 98,000 disposable cups recycled in a three months trial period earlier this year.
Ros Morgan, CEO, Heart of London Business Alliance said: “This year we’ve worked closely with Veolia and Westminster City Council to introduce new schemes and initiatives that offer sustainable recycling solutions for
businesses and individuals alike. The Hart of London is a celebration of this work and a reminder for Londoners to think about and reduce their plastic waste consumption during the festive season.”
Helder Branco, Senior Contract Manager from Veolia said: “In Westminster, we recycle over 15 million plastic bottles every year, however despite the fact that plastic bottles are a highly recyclable material, we know that 40 per cent of those used in the UK are not reaching recycling centres. This is why we’re delighted to work with Heart of London Business Alliance and Westminster City Council on this important initiative. In the spirit of Christmas, where giving and caring is at the forefront of all out our minds, we hope that the Hart’s presence will remind people to recycle more and encourage them to give to those in need, if they are in a position to do so.”
Faith Bebbington, the artist behind the installation said: “I’m thrilled to launch Hart of London alongside Heart of London Business Alliance, Veolia and Westminster City Council, in London’s West End this December. The white deer or hart has made many appearances in fantasy literature and it’s exciting to bring this enchanting creature to life during the magical Christmas season.”
Cllr Tim Mitchell, Cabinet Member for Environment and City Management, said: “The season of goodwill is upon us. The Hart of London is an eye-catching Christmas sculpture that will lend a helping hand to those who need it most by raising money and encouraging people to recycle their waste over the festive holiday.”
Top tips to reduce plastic waste over the festive period include:
- If you purchase a drink in a plastic bottle, make sure the bottle gets recycled by placing it in a dedicated recycling bin either out and about or at home
- Ensure reusable cups, bottles and cutlery are used for parties and festive gatherings
- Where possible, buy fruit and vegetables loose and avoid products with a lot of plastic film around them
- Remember reusable bags when doing Christmas shopping or going to the sales
- Consider resale, reuse or re-gifting before disposing of unwanted gifts
The Hart of London installation will be in St. James Church gardens from 2 December 2018 to 6 January 2019, open from 8:00am – 6:30pm daily, except 26th December to 2 January when access to the installation will be from 10:00am – 4:40pm daily.
When visiting the Hart of London be sure not to miss the other artwork installations in the grounds of St James’s Church and gardens.