London signs up to water refill scheme

A new scheme in London will trial offering free tap water refills.

The scheme has been a success in cities such as Bristol and Bath, and Refill UK, who are 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 National Theatre and Tate Modern are two of the London-based locations who have signed up.

The Guardian reported last year that each year more than 16m plastic bottles are put into landfill, burned, or leak into the environment and oceans.

The mayor, 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.’

Chair of the London assembly environment committee, Leonie Cooper, has welcomed the news, saying: ‘The environment committee recommended this in our bottled water report back in April 2017 and we are delighted the Mayor has listened and acted.

‘Congratulations to the retailers and businesses who have got on board – I hope this Refill London trial across five sites is just the start.

‘We all need to kick our throwaway plastic bottle addiction. There is real momentum for action to reduce London’s huge plastic waste problem. We look forward to a successful trial and for free refill stations to be rolled out to other parts of the capital. Cutting the number of single use plastic bottles will ensure every Londoner can do their bit to help our environment.’

For more information on the scheme visit www.refill.org.uk/

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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