Lewisham Council bought 144,000 disposable plastic cups in the 12 months ending March.

The figures have been labelled “hypocritical” by Lewisham and Greenwich London Assembly candidate for the Conservatives, Charlie Davis, since the authority last November moved a motion to ban single use plastics by 2022 and in February declared a climate emergency.

Mr Davis said the authority was not moving as quickly as others to change its practices, such as Greenwich Council, which has pledged to remove single use plastics from its buildings by 2020.

Greenwich had already made the switch to recyclable cups before it declared a climate emergency in June.

The cups were bought to stock Laurence House, the Town Hall, Civic Suite and Eros House.

The declaration came a month before the FOI period ended.

Councillor Sophie McGeevor said while council had already made a commitment to  end the use of single and short term use plastic in council buildings, offices, schools and nurseries by May 2022, much more needed to be done.

She said: “We recognise we need to run the Council in a way that demonstrates our proposals for action on carbon emissions. The Council has already made a public commitment to ban single-use plastics from Council buildings and we have stopped restocking supplies of plastic cups. Once they have been used, that will be an end to disposable plastic cups provided in the Council’s office and public meetings.

“We also recognise the health benefits of hydration, and will replace disposable plastic cups with cost-effective alternative options for staff and the public,” she added.

The council was also working on an action plan to make the borough carbon neutral by 2030, as part of its climate emergency declaration, the cabinet member for environment said.

“Carbon emissions in the borough of Lewisham have fallen by 38% since 2005, but much more needs to be done.  That is why the Council made the declaration of a climate emergency and has proposed a new target for the borough to be carbon neutral by 2030. We are currently developing an evidenced-based action plan that will set out the approach we will take to working with residents, community groups, local businesses and other public sector organisations to deliver on the commitment to cut carbon emissions,” she said.