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Londoners refill water to combat plastic waste

Stuart Spear22/03/2018 - 12:39

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CIEH refill sticker in place
CIEH refill sticker in place

CIEH’s leading sustainable events venue 15 Hatfields is supporting a London scheme to cut plastic waste by joining a network of water bottle refill stations. 

The network includes shops and businesses around London who are part of the ‘refill’ initiative in a bid to cut the number of plastic water bottles going to landfill each year.

It means the 15 Hatfields along with other participating outlets will have a ‘refill’ sticker in its window letting people know they are welcome to ask to fill up with free tap water.

The scheme also provides a free app that will list all location in London along with 5,700 refill locations across the UK offering free water. The objective is to stop people needlessly buying bottled water by enabling them to refill their own water flask. 

The average adult Londoner buys three plastic water bottles each week mounting to 175 bottles per person per year. It is estimated that 7.7billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year many of which become part of the single use plastic waste stream.  

CIEH chief executive Anne Godfrey said: ‘I am incredibly proud to be supporting Refill London. The problem of mass and unsustainable plastic consumption in our society is fast becoming a crisis

‘Plastic contamination of the natural environment can have a range of negative effects, with concerns growing that our food chain is now being affected.’

Five areas in London are to trial the new initiative at around 65 locations including Tate Modern, Costa Coffee and the food outlet Leon.

Part of the London Mayor’s plans to cut single use plastic across the capital the initiative is being run by Thames Water and City to Sea a campaign group set up to help stop ocean pollution.

The production of bottled water is around 500 times more carbon intensive than tap water. London plans to send no biodegradable or recyclable waste to landfill by 2026. The mayor is considering a plastic bottle deposit return scheme.

Countries that have adopted similar schemes have seen plastic bottle recycling rates increase by 90 per cent. 

‘We all need to try harder to cut the excessive use of single-use plastic bottles, cups and cutlery that can end up pointlessly overflowing our landfill sites, finding their way into our oceans and harming our environment,’ said London mayor Sadiq Khan.   

‘I hope that even more businesses sign up to the scheme to help Londoners make small but significant steps, like refilling our bottles, to drive down plastic waste.’ 

The five areas where the scheme operates are: Greenwich town centre, Lewisham High St, the Southbank and Bankside, Regent St and London Bridge.


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