We covered the growing problem of plastic waste in one of our recent posts, and this is one of the most recent initiatives suggested in an attempt to reduce it. By 2021, every major town and city will have free water bottle refill points across the country. This is the latest in a string of attempts to reduce plastic bottle usage. The aim of the refill points is to get people to refill their bottle as opposed to purchasing a new one. Coffee shops, retailers, businesses and local authorities will be among those introducing a refill point. Hopefully, as a result, the use of millions of plastic bottles that end up polluting the seas will be curbed.
The scheme could cut disposable plastic bottle use by tens of millions a year. After pressure has been put on the government to tackle plastic waste, this initiative is coming just at the right time – if not slightly too late. Among those that will be introducing water fountains for public use is Whitbread, which owns Costa Coffee and Premier Inn. Free water is almost impossible to access when people are out and about, so plastic bottles are the logical answer. However, with the introduction of the new scheme, people can bring their own bottles. Using their own bottles, they will be able to refill them at various spots around their city or town. This in turn then reduces the need for more than one bottle – we encourage a stainless steel or glass reusable one. Using a bottle made from these materials is a more environmentally conscious choice. This initiative will really only work if people stop using plastic bottles altogether.
So, how will you know where the refill points are? Well, this will require an app, or there may be signs pointing towards your nearest refill spot. The app will then guide you to your nearest refill point in your town or city. “This scheme will make it easier for people to refill their bottles wherever they work, rest, shop or play.” Water UK’s chief executive, Michael Roberts said when discussing the plan.
In London, Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged to create 20 new fountains and other bottle-refill points in the city. Elsewhere across the country, water companies are already taking part in locally run schemes. Here in Norfolk, where our head offices are based, Anglian Water is taking part in refill schemes. In Bristol, however, the scheme has already been adopted. They introduced free water refill points across the city in 2015. Estimates suggest that if every city resident in Bristol refilled one bottle once a week, the city could cut the use of disposable bottles by 22.3 million a year.
To really make a difference, and reduce plastic bottle usage in your workplace, why not switch to a Billi system. Instant cold water means no need for bottled water. We also produce branded glass bottles, reducing the need for employees to bring their own plastic bottles to work. Make an environmentally conscious choice by choosing Billi.