London water stations offer alternative to bottled water

As part of ongoing efforts to promote tap water over expensive and environmentally-questionable bottled water, London authorities are planning to introduce water stations in key locations, where people can refill their empty bottles.

Bottled water is an increasingly popular target for environmentalists, who question the justification of the high carbon footprint and extra waste generated by packaging and transporting water.

Rising tap water standards are adding fuel to the fire of the debate, undermining the previously-held views that bottled spring water is somehow a better quality product than that which comes out of the taps.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, the Greater London Assembly, Transport for London and, of course, water company Thames Water are all keen to see more water fountains and refilling stations around the city.

Last week Hyde Park saw the installation of its first water fountain in 30 years, part of a promised programme from the Mayor, while next month two trial water stations will be set up at Hammersmith Bus Station and Tower Bridge Museum in an effort to persuade commuters and tourists of the joys of London’s tap water.

The units will supply chilled tap water, costing 20p to refill a 500ml bottle.

Profits will go to Waste Watch, a resource efficiency charity.

Sam Bond

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