Plans for cross-London water fountain network to tackle plastic bottle waste

Plans for cross-London water fountain network to tackle plastic bottle waste

Proposals for a network of drinking fountains and bottle-refill points across the capital have been revealed in the Guardian today by Shirley Rodrigues, London’s deputy mayor for the environment.

7.7 billion plastic drinking bottles are used and disposed of yearly in the UK, and a pilot scheme to start this summer will see 20 new fountains installed across London in the hope of reducing this problematic figure. Potential locations for the fountains include tube stations and busy shopping streets: Rodrigues told the Guardian that they would be making “partnerships with organisations like business improvement districts and boroughs and others to understand where we can install more water fountains”.

The #OneLess project, a movement against disposable plastic bottles run by the Zoological Society of London, will be analysing whether the fountains have a positive effect on levels of plastic in the local environment. The project’s co-director, Dr Heather Koldewey, added that the “average Londoner gets through 175 bottles of water each year – that’s over a billion on a city level. Many of these end up in the ocean, harming marine creatures and poisoning our food chain.

“This pilot scheme will help Londoners to make the switch from wasteful single-use plastic water bottles to refilling – good news for London and the ocean.”