A thirst for change
The first wave of new water fountains is about to be installed across the city of London. As part of a £5 million scheme to combat single-use plastic waste, 50 public drinking fountains will be located outside Tube and train stations, shopping centres, tourist attractions, and recreational areas. Attached to London’s main water supply, it’s hoped the fountain's distinctive water-drop design will be easy to spot and encourage people to refill their plastic bottles, rather than to bin them. The City of London has teamed with Thames Water and other partners to implement the eco-initiative, with another 50 fountains earmarked for installation by the end of 2020.
The move is in response to growing public unease about the overuse and disposal of plastic. In the UK alone, 38.5 million plastic bottles are used every day, with the average Londoner buying three plastic water bottles every week. “For many years, our public water fountains were discarded and neglected whilst single-use plastic waste soared,” says London mayor, Sadiq Khan. “There is a real appetite for refilling and I want Londoners to lead the way in topping up on tap water when we’re on the move.”