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Drinking Water

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 6th February 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Doocey Baroness Doocey Chair, Finance Committee (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what figures they hold on the number of (1) tourism attractions, (2) high street retailers, (3) railway stations, and (4) UK airports, that offer drinking water refill points.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government recognises the importance of making drinking water more readily available in public places, as a means of reducing single-use plastic bottles. As laid out in the 25 Year Environment Plan and the Resources and Waste Strategy, we are already taking action in this area

Ministers have supported transport hubs, particularly railway stations and airports, to offer free water refill points. Although the Government does not collect the precise data requested, we have seen positive responses from Network Rail and rail operators. We are also pleased that around half of the UK’s international airports now have water fountains enabling customers to refill their own water containers.

The Government is also supporting water companies, high street retailers, coffee shops and transport hubs to offer new refill points for people to top-up water bottles free in every major city and town in England. The water industry is developing a network of refill points through its Refill app, managed by City to Sea. There are now over 27,000 refill points available on the app, which is used by an average of 20,000 people each month and is estimated to have saved over 100 million single use bottles from entering our waste stream in 2019.

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