In an effort to live up to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s promise to ban plastic in the UK within 25 years, London is making moves to place water fountains across the capital. Earlier this week, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of the City of London, announced his plan to place drinking fountains and bottle-refill stations around the city to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used in London.
As part of a larger scheme, 20 drinking fountains are scheduled to be placed around the English capital by summer this year. Although the city is spearheading the project, it also hopes to engage local businesses to provide bottle-refill stations for the wider public to use. Under the plan, which is part of a wider 750,000 plan to reduce plastic usage, plastic bottles, cups, and cutlery will no longer be available in London. In an attempt to banish single-use plastic, London’s Borough Market installed water fountains last August.
According to the BBC, the money allocated for the pilot project will be spent over the course of the next three years, which Khan hopes will culminate in the city cutting all recyclable or biodegradable material by the year 2026. It is not clear where the water facilities will be placed or which businesses will be engaged in helping facilitate the project, but The Guardian suggests that the facilities will be placed somewhere near Oxford Street and near the city’s tube stations (metro stations), where the flow of individuals in the summer months is steady.
An investigation carried out by The Guardian last month on the availability of potable drinking fountains around London found that some areas of the city had between 10 and 30 fountains, whereas other areas had none. In other cities across the country, only 8 fountains were found to be working while no fountains were found in major cities like Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool.