London half marathon to ban single use plastic bottles

The Harrow Half Marathon this Sunday (September 16) will be London’s first to offer no single-use plastic bottles to runners. 

Instead, runners will be able to rehydrate themselves with Ooho, which is water in a biodegradable sachet made using a 100% seaweed based membrane.

Runners will be able to collect them from the volunteers when passing any of the water stations.

The material is edible and can be treated just like food and disposed of in the food waste, but even if it goes in the general waste and ends up in landfill, it will degrade to its original elements.

Compostable cups were piloted at this year’s London Marathon in an attempt to reduce the amount of plastic bottles used and left along the course.

90,000 recyclable cups were put at three drink stations along the 26.2 mile (42.1km) route.

The move comes after a new scheme was launched in London which offers free tap water refills.

The scheme has already been a success in cities such as Bristol and Bath.

Refill UK, who is spearheading the initiative, has already installed over 1600 refill stations around the country.

The RefillUK app lets users find their nearest refill station. Users can also ask permission from a shop or cafe owner for that place to become a refill station and be added to their network.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘A free tap water scheme is long overdue in London and I welcome all of the retailers and business who have shown their strong commitment to reducing unnecessary plastic waste by joining the scheme.’

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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