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Residents Urge Bristol City Council to Commit to 100% Plant-Based Catering Ahead of May Election

  • On 27/04/24 at College Green, local campaigners called on Bristol City Council to commit to 100% plant-based catering in response to the climate and ecological crisis

  • Members of the Plant-Based Councils campaign handed out vegan food to the public whilst also providing a photoboard installation inspired by the city’s unicorn symbol.

  • Supporters of the campaign also released a large banner below the entrance of the council building reading “Plant-Based Councils - Climate Action on Food”

  • Signatures for a petition were gathered outside the council building, demanding that Bristol City Council ensures all food and drink provided at council meetings and events is 100% plant-based [1].

  • Similar actions have been taken around the country, including in Leeds, London, and Birmingham

  • Other UK councils have already made commitments to 100% plant-based catering, such as Exeter City, Oxfordshire County, Oxford City and Cambridge City [2].  

In 2019 Bristol City Council set the goal to become carbon neutral by 2030 [3]. In the years since, local residents have urged the council to change their internal catering policy to reflect this goal [4]. 

On 27/04/24, supporters of the Plant-Based Councils campaign called on the council to adopt 100% plant-based internal catering ahead of the local elections in May. Alongside an interactive photoboard featuring the city’s Unicorn symbol, campaigners offered vegan food to the public and also unfurled a large banner reading “Plant-Based Councils - Climate Action on Food”.

Supporting the demonstration, Bathsheba Wells Dion, 28, teacher said:“The science is clear that transitioning to a plant-based food system will be a crucial part of combating the climate crisis. If the city council wants to achieve its goal of a carbon neutral Bristol by 2030, then it must take the lead in promoting this change.”

In 2018, Oxford University researchers published a study demonstrating that 76% of the land currently used for food production would be freed-up by a global transition to plant-based production [5]. Campaigners argue this land could then be returned to its natural state, drawing down carbon dioxide and mitigating some of the worst impacts of climate breakdown.

Plant-Based Councils, an Animal Rising campaign, is a national initiative of local residents who are pushing for their councils to adopt 100% plant-based catering. The group argues that local authorities have a responsibility to follow the current scientific consensus which emphasizes the dramatically reduced environmental impact of a diet based on plant foods. The campaign is active in over 45 councils, with the group encouraging interested residents to sign up to run a local campaign.


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[1]  The Plant-Based Councils campaign aims to address the climate emergency starting with the food on our plates. Working with councils across the UK to encourage them to lead the way in the switch from emission heavy foods to plant-based ones that are better for health, our planet and reducing the impact from the cost of living crisis.   

Oxfordshire County Council votes to serve fully plant-based food at all council-catered events 

Exeter City Council votes to serve 100% plant-based food at catered meetings 

Cambridge City Council votes to serve 100% plant-based food at catered meetings

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