11 ways to go greener in the Royal Docks

Community news

11 ways to go greener in the Royal Docks

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has set a target for London to be a net zero carbon city by 2030 and here, in the Royal Docks, green initiatives are flourishing. From recycling to waterside walks, and green tech to repair workshops, we’ve put together a rundown on how to green your world and decrease the area’s carbon footprint.

Ticket to ride

Transport is a cornerstone of the Mayor of London’s vision for a fairer, greener, healthier, and more prosperous city for everyone. The Royal Docks is spoilt for choice when it comes to ways to get around. The impressive local transport links boast the Elizabeth Line, DLR stations, the IFS Cloud Cable Car, the Uber Boat by Thames Clipper and the Jubilee Line from Canning Town. The new Superloop bus link is a game changer too. Making greater use of these transport links makes travelling locally and into Central London a breeze.

On your bike!

An obvious green way to get around is by bike. If you don’t have one, simply hire a compact Brompton folding bike from a local locker near Royal Albert, Custom House, East India, Cyprus, Canning Town, and Beckton DLR station. It’s perfect for exploring the Royal Docks tours and trails. Collect and keep a bike for 24 hours or longer for just £5 per day. Bikes can also be returned to any one of over 70 nationwide lockers.

Ditch single-use plastic

Save money and help the planet by using an eco-friendly reusable water bottle. The Mayor of London, has partnered with Thames Water to install a network of more than 100 drinking water fountains in London including one at Royal Victoria Dock (between City Hall and the IFS Cloud Cable Car). This is part of a range of measures by the Mayor to reduce the number of single-use plastic water bottles used in the capital and provide free access to healthy tap water. Single-use plastic bottles and hot drink cups are an increasing problem. It is estimated that over 40 million cups are thrown away each year in London, many of which are not recycled and are sent to landfill or incineration.

Bring a reusable cup when visiting one of the many great cafes in Royal Docks too. Some offer a discount for bringing a cup which is a bonus. Great places to get your caffeine fix locally include Little Hudson, Perky Blenders x Good Vibes, Fratelli's, Chill #08, and Well Bean Co.

Take it slow

Slower moving vehicles can help to reduce emissions caused by tyre and brake wear, which contributes to air pollution. Driving slower also makes our streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. 20mph zones have been introduced around Newham including along the new and improved Royal Docks Corridor. In line with the Mayor's priorities on the environment, this change will help tackle air pollution to make the air we breathe safe for everyone.

Recycle, recycle, recycle

Recycling is an easy way to do your bit to reduce your carbon footprint. Visit the London Recycles and the Recycle Now websites for detailed information about recycling in Newham. Plus, here are some ways to recycle in the Royal Docks:

  • Drop plastic bottles off atReCyrcle where they will be transformed into cool recycled household products
  • Unwanted electrical items, toner and printer cartridges and batteries can be recycled at Currys PC World, Beckton. It’s free of charge and no purchase is necessary
  • Empty beauty, health, and wellness packaging will be given a new lease of life when you drop them off at Boots, Beckton

Turn trash into cash

Do you have any copper, lead, aluminium, stainless steel, electrical cables, brass or iron lying around? You can sell unwanted metals to EMR Silvertown and Royal Docks Metals. The price you’ll get is calculated on the weight and grade of the metal. It’s a great way to help the environment and make a few extra quid.

To get involved in more sustainable initiatives check out the Royal Docks Centre for Sustainability. Located at UEL, this centre supports the development of clean and green technology and promotes community wealth-building and inclusive innovation. The facility offers affordable workspace, specialist facilities, and research expertise to residents, businesses, UEL students and graduates. The centre also runs programmes designed to help launch and expand businesses while enhancing the skills of local people.

Eat your greens

Eating more veg and eating less meat can help reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. For the ultimate plant-based fix head to Well Bean Co located in Royal Albert Dock. This plant-based community cafe and event space is a great place to chill and enjoy a delicious bagel, a moreish hot chocolate, and a sweet treat. The team’s decisions are led by their love for the planet, from ingredient sourcing to product packaging. There’s no better excuse to eat cake!

Go digital

Reducing paper waste is a simple and easy win. Opting out of receiving hard copy letters, bills and bank statements and saying ‘no thanks' to unnecessary shop receipts helps make a difference. Another effective way is by accessing news online. Why not sign up for the Royal Docks e-newsletter? :)

Fix it, stitch it, don’t ditch it

It’s great to get in the habit of trying to fix things rather than throwing them away. It's so satisfying too! Repair Cafés take place across Newham throughout the year. It’s a chance to get damaged items such as small electrical appliances, bikes and textiles repaired by experts for free. Keep an eye on the East London Waste website for details of the next Repair Café near you.

Have you ever thought about revamping, repairing and altering clothes yourself? Sew Social is the perfect place to give it a try. Book a sewing machine at this free monthly sewing group or bring along your hand sewing project. It’s also a chance to meet other local crafters and receive helpful advice from the friendly bunch.


Head to Canning Town charity shop, Age UK to donate clothing and bric-a-brac. Alternatively, you can find new homes for unwanted stuff via the Newham Freecycle group. It’s a great way for things to be reused and kept out of recycling. Unwanted furniture and bikes can also be donated to the Jenkins Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre. Items in safe and good condition are then passed on to local charities to sell for good causes. Newham Council also offers a handy bulky household waste collection service.

Also, have you checked out the Cancer Research Superstore at Gallions Reach Shopping Park? The charity shop is huge! It’s a treasure trove jam-packed with serious bargains. WARNING – you may end up leaving with more things than you went in to donate, as all items are just £5 or less.

Get involved

Curious by Nature, Beckton Environment Action Group and Born Everywhere Made in Newham do fantastic community projects and encourage residents to care for and enjoy local green spaces. Follow Curious by Nature Beckton Environment Action Group on social media and keep an eye on the Born Everywhere Made in Newham website to find out about the next nearby litter pick. The litter picks are a great opportunity to do your bit for the local environment and boost community spirit.

Did you know you can organise your own community litter pick? If there's a local area which you would like to help give a bit of a spruce up simply get in touch with Newham council. They can provide all the equipment you'll need to get started and arrange waste collection.