By Elizabeth Dilts
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc told employees on Wednesday it will no longer carry widely used, throw-away plastic items like water bottles or silverware in its offices and cafeterias as the U.S. bank tries 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, Goldman Sachs 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.
In December, the European Union agreed to ban by 2021 a list of 10 single-use plastic products, like plates, straws and drink stirrers.
The operator of luxury hotel chain Peninsula Hotels, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, said it will stop using plastic bottles, packaging and bathroom amenities by 2020.
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 100 percent of its business waste from landfills by 2020, and is 93 percent of the way there, Quan said.
This step will reduce the amount of single-use plastics bank employees throw away by 85 percent or to 6 tons, the bank said.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts; Editing by Sandra Maler)