Thames Water Utilities Ltd has unveiled a new ‘pop-up’ style tap water bottle refill station which it launched during the BBC Countryfile Live event, held 2-5 Aug at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.
An estimated 120,000 people attended the country lifestyle fair, together consuming more than 10,000 bottles of water
The private utility firm, which is responsible for the water supply and waste water treatment for large areas of south-east England, said the initiative was part of its commitment to make free tap water more accessible to people on the move and to help reduce single-use plastic waste.
The refill fountains were supplied by UK firm MIW Water Cooler Experts, which earlier this year helped establish the London Drinking Fountain Fund as part of the #OneLess movement.
The campaign promotes the use of refillable bottles versus single-use plastic ones.
MIW was also behind the drinking fountains installed in London’s Borough Market, London Zoo, Wimbledon Tennis Club and Heathrow Airport.
“Our new fountains were really popular, with visitors topping up with our world-class tap water over 50,000 times. Together, we’re all making a huge difference in reducing pointless plastic waste and helping protect our planet,” said Becky Johnson, senior brand and marketing manager at Thames Water.
Also commenting on the fountains, Mike Winter, managing director of MIW Water Cooler Experts, said the latest models of the outdoor refill stations were specially designed to be durable, fast and accessible to those with physical disabilities, making them suitable for high traffic public areas.
The initiative is latest in a series of measures taken by the UK government and companies to reduce single-use plastic waste.
Prime minister Theresa May launched a 25-year environmental plan earlier this year, targeting “all avoidable” plastic waste.
The country has also announced plans to ban the sale of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, and the introduction of a deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates for drinks bottles and cans.