London’s Borough Market has announced plans to install three drinking fountains to phase out sales of bottled water and combat plastic pollution.
The capital’s population currently consumes more bottles of water per capita than any other region in the country – around 7.7 billion bottles each year. Plastic bottles make up 10 per cent of all litter found discarded in the Thames, and three-quarters of flounder in the river were found to have ingested plastic.
Borough Market has spent years minimising its own impact on the environment. None of its rubbish currently goes to landfill – paper, plastic, cardboard, glass and wood are all recycled and food waste is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant .
The packaging is almost entirely bio-degradable and compostable. The next step is to go entirely plastic-free over the next six months, hence the introduction of the water fountains.
Each fountain will provide three streams of water: two to drink from and one to refill water bottles. In addition, sales of bottled water will be phased out across the estate and plans include to introduce refillable bottles made from recycled plastic, which will be available to buy from stalls around the market.
Darren Henaghan, managing director of the market, said: “By using the new Borough Fountains our visitors will be able to refill and refresh without having to buy a plastic bottle each time.
“We are proud to take this significant step forward as part of our ongoing commitment to making Borough Market Britain’s greenest place to shop, and hope that others will follow suit.”