01 Feb HAVE YOU GOT THE BOTTLE?
HAVE YOU GOT THE BOTTLE?
Well You Better Get A Good One,
‘Cause Finding Free Water In
London Just Got So Much Easier.
Considering London is lucky enough to literally be connected to a network of drinkable water, it’s kind of weird that H2O isn’t more readily available to people isn’t it?
And actually, it’s exactly that lack of availability that has contributed to so many people buying bottles of water and now London, like the rest of the world, has a very real plastic problem.
A staggering 1 million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and in the UK alone, 38.5 million plastic bottles are used every day. But less than 50% of those plastic bottles are collected for recycling, and only 7% is turned into new bottles. Those are obviously pretty crap rates that are contributing to massive global problem.
In fact, plastic waste in the UK was something that we actually exported a lot of, which is really kind of crazy – a classic case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. However, since China (rightly) put a ban on such imports, the UK has been trying to find other ways in dealing with it’s own plastic pollution, finally generating genuine positive changes such as the 5p plastic bag charge and the ban on microbeads.
// Between 2012 - 2017, The UK Exported Over 2.7 Million Tonnes Of Plastic Waste To China & Hong Kong. //
Which brings us to the latest piece of good news, and another step forward for the war on plastic.
London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has unveiled a three year, £750,000 plan towards tackling the plastics issue. In a pilot scheme set to start this summer, twenty new drinking fountains will be installed across London in pedestrian areas, with lots more to follow. Users will even be able to find their nearest free drinking point using an app created by water conscious initiative Refill.
As part of the plan, businesses have also been encouraged to offer free water bottle refills, with Costa Coffee (surprisingly?) being one of the first to step up to the initiative and other businesses such as Network Rail looking to consider how to offer water fountains within their stations. The companies that take part in the scheme will have bright blue ‘free tap water’ signs in their windows, which will ultimately encourage people inside their businesses and can only be a good thing for them. But it’s also a massive benefit for consumers anyway because a bottle of water can easily cost between £1 and £2 a pop otherwise.
// Win-Win //
There’s another ‘FYI’ here though that we really wanna mention to further empower you into getting free water where you can, when you can: licensed premises such as bars, restaurants and theatres (i.e. anywhere that can sell alcohol) are already required by law to provide free drinking water on request in England, Scotland and Wales. It’s just not that well known, and the Brits that do know feel weird asking for it. Typical. Legally, the only thing licensed premises can charge for is for the use of the glass, which is easily sidestepped if you have your own bottle to fill up.
Now that this whole conversation is underway, it’s time that we shifted the norms to create a culture of reuse. Find yourself a good trusty bottle. Stay tuned to find out where your nearest water points will be. Get ready for never having to buy bottled water ever again.
And think about how hydrated you’re gonna feel having all this free water around.
Bring on the Summer.