In a bid to cut down on plastic waste, industry body Water UK wants to see free water refill points in all major towns and cities across the UK by 2021. If you're thirsty while you're out and about, forget popping into Tesco Express to pick up a plastic bottle filled with cola; instead, fill up your own reusable bottle with some free water.
Costa Coffee and Premier Inn's parent company Whitbread is the first to sign up to the scheme, and has said that all its branches will be installed with free water refill points starting in March this year.
Public water fountains will also be installed and made more readily available across more cities. The city of Bristol adopted the initiative back in 2015 and already has over 200 water refill points across the city. London's mayor Sadiq Khan has also agreed to add another 20 fountains throughout the capital.
According to Euromonitor, 1,000,000 plastic bottles are purchased every minute, amounting to around 480 billion in a year. Less than 50% are collected to be recycled, and only 7% are actually turned into new bottles. That's a hell of a lot of plastic waste, and so Water UK's scheme could make a noticeable difference. [BBC]