Industry insights

Are Water Fountains The Solution To Tackle Single Use Plastic?

1 min read

By Will Vickery |  Published

A large challenge facing the global population currently, is how do we reduce the use of single use plastic products to help tackle climate change? This has seen charities, businesses and local government in a number of towns and cities installing public access drinking water fountains, which provide free safe drinking water, where people can fill up their refillable water bottles, removing the need to buy single use plastic water bottles.

Making water fountains accessible to people can be highly beneficial for not only health reasons, but also in terms of waste reduction and sensible resource management.

The over consumption of sweet and high sugar content beverages, has strong associations with obesity, cardiac disease and a number of other related illnesses. Facilitating access to water fountains makes it possible for people to have access to genuine healthy and clean water, whilst creating an eco-friendly hydration solution which can tackle the use of single use plastics.

A lot of research and publications have been done by organisations and universities to investigate the possibility of water fountains providing a viable solution to help reduce the use of single use plastic. The results of this research has indicated that it is the responsibility of consumers and organisations and government to create a solution that is eco-friendly. Yes water fountains are a great solution to reduce plastic, but only if the consumer is willing to use them and has a refillable bottle on them when out and about.

The taste of tap water is often a key reason for why people buy bottled mineral water rather than having tap water. Therefore businesses such as Thirsty Work and other organisations have been developing commercial filters which will remove bad taste, odour and lime scale from these high volume public water fountains.  

An example of the increase in installation of public access water fountains has been London’s partnership with Thames Water to install “a network of more than 100 drinking water fountains in busy and accessible areas of London.” This scheme is part of a range of measures taken by the Mayor of London to reduce the number of single use plastic water bottles and to provide free access to healthy tap water.

With the work of local government and organisations such as a Refill we should see the rise of drinking water fountains to provide people with an environmentally friendly drinking water solution to tackle the use of single use plastic.