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Water Refill Point (2)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 17th October 2019.

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Photo of Leonie Cooper Leonie Cooper Labour

How many water bottles have your water refill points saved? Can you break this down for each refill point installed?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

To reduce the amount of single-use plastic bottles that Londoners use, I partnered with Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) #Oneless campaign to install 28 free drinking fountains. My response to MQ19882 states that the first 23 fountains have dispensed 250,492 litres of water over the last 20 months, which is the equivalent of 501,178 half litre single-use plastic water bottles.  On average each fountain has dispensed almost 11,000 litres, avoiding 22,000 half litre single-use plastic water bottles per fountain. Usage data from fountains I have installed in partnership with Thames Water will be available later in the autumn.

I’ve also launched London Refill which has over 2,500 refill stations across the city, with independent businesses, large chains and iconic London culture venues such as the Tate and National Theatre, offering free tap water refills to the public.

Due to the voluntary nature of this scheme and the self-reporting usage of the Refill App, it is difficult to accurately capture the exact number of single-use plastic water bottles avoided across the 2,500 refill points. However, we can use a combination of data to gauge success and effectiveness of these schemes. For example, GLA research conducted through YouGov opinion polling, has shown a 7 per cent increase in the number of people who often use a reusable water bottle from 49 per cent in May 2018 to 56 per cent in August 2019. Furthermore, this research suggests that those who use a reusable water bottle cut their single-use plastic bottle use by 50 per cent on average.