London Mayor teams up with Thames on tap water

Ken Livingstone has joined forces with Thames Water to launch a new campaign to persuade pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels to offer their customers tap water rather than bottled mineral water as first choice.

Drinking bottled water rather than that which comes straight out of the tap leads to a far greater carbon footprint as there are emissions linked to its production, storage, transport and disposal.

The London on Tap campaign seeks to highlight that tap water is just as good and almost indistinguishable in terms of taste.

The campaign is sponsored by Green Party London Assembly Member Jenny Jones and backed by Environment Minister Phil Woolas.

Its aims are to:

  • Raise awareness of the high quality of London's tap water, the impact of bottled water on climate change and the environment, and its benefits to health and well-being
  • Empower customers in bars and restaurants to ask for tap water rather than feeling obliged to ask for more expensive bottled brands
  • Encourage restaurants, bars and hotels across London to support London On Tap and proudly serve tap water to customers, giving them a real choice about what water they can drink.

    The centrepiece of the campaign will be a competition, open to all London based designers, to design an iconic carafe made from recycled glass to be used in bars, restaurants and hotels across London to serve tap water to customers.

    The competition will kick off in May this year, with the challenge to come up with a design that matches good looks with environmental sustainability.

    Mr Livingstone said: "My message is very simple: don't be embarrassed to ask for tap water when you eat out. You will save money and help save the planet.

    "By drinking less bottled water, we can cut the climate change carbon emissions coming from its production and transportation, and cut the problem of disposing of used bottles.

    "Choosing tap water is cheaper and a perfectly acceptable alternative to bottled water, and it will help to protect the environment.

    "I have joined forces with Thames Water on this campaign to help people feel more confident in asking for tap water rather than bottled water in our restaurants and cafes, and to encourage businesses make it easier for their customers to make that choice."

    Sam Bond

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