New water fountains to discourage use of plastic bottles

New water fountains are coming to the City to help steer people away from single-use plastic bottles
New water fountains are coming to the City to help steer people away from single-use plastic bottles

More water fountains are coming soon to the UK’s financial district, as part of a drive to discourage use of plastic drinking bottles in the Square Mile.

The City of London Corporation’s projects subcommittee on 12 September approved the installation of eight more water fountains around the financial district within a year.

Earlier this year, the City had pledged 10 new water fountains for the Square Mile, in a bid to discourage the use of single-use plastics, and to keep inner London clean.

According to government figures, about 13billion plastic bottles are used a year in the UK, with only 7.5bn of them recycled.

Last April, the Corporation and recyclable coffee cup makers Hubbub focused efforts on coffee cups, launching the Square Mile Challenge to result in four million cups being recycled between that month and March 2018.

A report to the subcommittee said the City was trying to reduce the amount of single-use plastic bottles being used to promote a reusable drink bottle culture among workers, residents and visitors to the Square Mile, while also easing pressure on recycling facilities.

Providing water refill points in the public realm would help encourage people to carry their own reusable bottles, the report added.

There are six existing drinking fountains in the Square Mile, with another two recently installed at the completed Aldgate Square.

Another eight will be installed within the next 12 months at yet-to-be decided locations, bringing the total in operation to 16, the subcommittee heard.

The City plans to roll out the 10 new fountains at sites in parks, retail squares and near transport hubs, with the locations to be determined following public consultation.

Their locations would be included on the Refill app, which helps people locate water fountains and local businesses that allow the public to use their taps to replenish their re-usable drink bottles.

The subcommittee approved a spend between £50,000 and £100,000 on the project to deliver the new fountains.