Advertisement
Environment

Sadiq Khan approves 100 water fountains across London

The city mayor will pour in a £5m fund to continue the war on single-use plastic bottles

Sadiq Khan has greenlit plans to create a network of water fountains across London in the continued battle to reduce single-use plastic waste.

The Mayor of London has already introduced 20 water fountains across the city with more than 8,000 litres of drinking water dispensed from the two Liverpool Street station fountains in one month alone.

The popularity of the existing fountains has inspired Khan to team-up with Thames Water on a new £5m fund to install more, with applications open to councils, businesses, venues and land owners.

More fountains will hit the streets from spring 2019 as part of the crackdown on plastic, inspired by Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series.

Currently, the average Londoner buys more than three plastic water bottles every week which amounts to 175 bottles every year, according to waterway charity Thames21’s #OneLess campaign. The group found almost 3,500 bottles in the River Thames last month, with water bottles overtaking fizzy drinks bottles for the first time.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Across the UK, there are around 7.7 billion bottles bought each year with the majority being used just once.

”For many years, our public water fountains were discarded and neglected, whilst single-use plastic waste soared,” said Mayor Khan. “We’re determined to reverse that trend and help deliver hundreds more free public fountains in the capital for everyone to enjoy.

“There is a real appetite for refilling and I want Londoners to lead the way in topping up on tap water when we’re on the move. This great new fund will significantly boost the number of public fountains in some of the busiest places across London from next spring. The fountains we’ve already delivered this year are attracting thousands of visitors and helping people make small but important changes in reducing plastic consumption.”

Steve Robertson, chief executive of Thames Water, added: “By making it even more accessible for Londoners on the move we can together limit the use of millions of single-use plastic bottles which sadly end up in landfill or in our rivers and oceans.”

While the move is also a welcome step towards improving access to water, Refill, an app-based national campaign to highlight free bottle refill points, has been given the mayor’s backing.

But campaigners Water for London are calling for fountains to be rolled out across the entire Transport for London network as well.

Welcome news from the Mayor of London and Thames Water to deliver a new generation of water fountains for London to provide plastic-free, healthy hydration for those that live, work and play in the city,” a Water for London spokesperson said. “By end of 2020, Water for London would like to see size of this new network of public refill fountains eclipse the 800 fountains that existed in London 100 years ago. This would show visionary and bold leadership from Mayor of London.”

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
How to find out if your home is likely to flood - and what help you can get
Flooding

How to find out if your home is likely to flood - and what help you can get

HS2: The case for and against Britain's biggest infrastructure project
Sustainable transport

HS2: The case for and against Britain's biggest infrastructure project

Sewage dumped into sea at coastal resorts as heavy rain follows heatwave
Sewage pollution

Sewage dumped into sea at coastal resorts as heavy rain follows heatwave

Why England's rivers are so polluted - and what you can do about it
River pollution

Why England's rivers are so polluted - and what you can do about it

Most Popular

Read All
Oil giants Shell and BP have been handed £700m of taxpayer cash despite bumper profits
1.

Oil giants Shell and BP have been handed £700m of taxpayer cash despite bumper profits

What are the risks of Don't Pay UK? We asked a leading lawyer
2.

What are the risks of Don't Pay UK? We asked a leading lawyer

How broken is the UK's public transport? I spent all day on buses to find out
3.

How broken is the UK's public transport? I spent all day on buses to find out

Sadiq Khan's Right to Buy-back scheme leads to return of 1,500 council homes
4.

Sadiq Khan's Right to Buy-back scheme leads to return of 1,500 council homes

Keep up to date with the Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.