London Mayor unveils 20 new water fountains in bid to reduce single-use plastic
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has confirmed that 20 new water fountains will be installed across the capital as part of a scheme to slash the amount of single-use plastic bottles that are purchased.
The first four fountains have already been installed at Heart of Valentines Park, Kingly Court and Liverpool Street Station, with the Kingly Court facility already being used more than 10,000 times a month.
Meanwhile, the two fountains in Liverpool Street Station have dispensed more than 8,000 litres of water since they were installed earlier this month – saving the plastic equivalent of 16,000 single-use bottles.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Water fountains are a simple but effective way to encourage Londoners and visitors to ditch plastic bottles and instead refill reusable ones. With the hot weather we’ve seen this summer, the demand is greater than ever for quick and easy ways of accessing free drinking water and I’m pleased to confirm the locations for the first 20 of our new public water fountains.
“Some of these are already attracting thousands of visitors a day and City Hall are working on plans to secure many more across London.”
The remaining 16 fountains will be installed by the end of the year, with their locations decided as part of the Mayor’s partnership with the Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) #OneLess campaign aimed at tackling single-use plastic waste.
After analysing footfall in venues which applied to host a fountain, the campaign and City Hall will install new facilities in Bexleyheath Town Centre, in Bexley; North Acton Square, in Ealing; Windrush Square, in Brixton; Ladywell Fields, in Lewisham; Beckenham Place Park, in Lewisham; Horniman Museum, in Lewisham; Paddington Recreation Ground, in Westminster; Acton Park, in Ealing; Guy’s Hospital, in Southwark; St Thomas’ Hospital, in Lambeth; Camberwell Green, in Southwark; Swiss Cottage Open Space, in Camden; Nisbett Walk, in Bexley; South St Alban’s Street, in St James; The London School of Economics and Political Science and the Natural History Museum.
The #OneLess campaign’s director Heather Koldeway said the campaign was “taken aback” by the number of transport hubs, shopping centres, museums and business districts which applied to host a fountain.
“There is definitely huge appetite in London to stop using single-use plastic and establish a new culture of refilling,” Koldeway said. “We are delighted to be working with the Mayor of London on this exciting initiative to reduce the plastic blight on the ocean and firmly establish London as a city that no longer uses plastic bottled water.”
The new installations come after research from the #OneLess campaign revealed that Londoners buy more than three plastic bottles every week on average – equating to 175 bottles every year per person. It is thought around 7.7 billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year.
City Hall this year launched the Refill London campaign in partnership with Thames Water and campaign group City to Sea. Under the scheme, 65 businesses, venues and shops across the city have committed to offer free tap water refills to visitors – including the likes of Costa Coffee, Leon and Whole Foods.
It is currently being trialled in five areas in London – Greenwich town centre, Lewisham high street, the Southbank and Bankside, Regent Street and London Bridge – with a view to a wider rollout.
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