Transport for London tackles waste and carbon with tap water
A new joint initiative between Transport for London and Thames Water to provide access to free drinking water on London's transport network is designed to help the city cut carbon and cut waste.
The first installation, serving Hammersmith Bus Station and Tube, allows commuters to fill their own reusable bottles with chilled, filtered mains water from a dispensing station. The water is free, but, for empty-handed commuters, the machine will also dispense 500ml reusable bottles for £2. The bottles feature a request that they are reused in order to cut London's carbon footprint.
Thames Water, suppliers to the Hammersmith station, has calculated that a litre of its mains tap water creates about 0.0003KG of CO2, up to 600 times less CO2 than its bottled equivalent.
Nick Davis, founding director of HydraChill, the company that supplied and installed the unit explained the thinking: "The focus on mains water as a more environmental option grows exponentially. What's less optional is free available public access." He explained that his company was born of a frustration at the lack of 'on the go' water availability. "Ultimately it's about choice and the consumer's entitlement to hygienic mains-fed alternatives. Transport hubs are a logical progression point."
- In 1980 less than 50 million litres of bottled water were sold in the UK. That figure is now more than 2 billion litres as water becomes the consumer's soft drink of preference.
- At least 25% of UK bottled water is imported, mostly from France - adding to its carbon footprint.
- 93% of bottled water is sold in single use non-returnable bottles, the majority of which end up as litter or landfill.
- Thames Water say that a litre of their mains tap water creates about 0.0003KG of CO2, which is believed to be around 600 times less CO2 than a litre of bottled water.