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Home to the UK’s collection of British and international contemporary art, Tate Modern is one of London’s key visitor attractions. Pulling in as many as 5.9 million visitors a year, in 2018 it overtook the British Museum as the UK’s number one tourist destination. Its brutalist structure is iconic – if not to everyone’s taste – and its collections and curators are considered to be among the most influential in the present-day are world. That’s why we can’t express just how excited we were that Tate Modern was selected as one of the installation sites for MIW’s donated #OneLess bottle fillers.Outdoor drinking fountain at the main entrance to Tate Modern London.

What is the #OneLess Campaign?

#OneLess was a project initiated by ZSL London Zoo in 2017 to help reduce waste plastic in London through the installation of free-to-use public bottle fillers. The campaign was supported by a large number of high-profile businesses and industry experts – including MIW Water Cooler Experts. Later working in collaboration with the London Mayor’s office, the London Drinking Fountain Fund was launched, and MIW donated 20 bottle filling stations for installation across London. The new bottle filler at Tate Modern is among the number.

The Tate Modern Bottle Filler

The new London Drinking Fountain Fund bottle filler was installed just outside the Tate Gallery’s main entrance. And it was a big undertaking, not least in the planning. After all, you don’t mess with the façade of a national treasure lightly. We were looking for a location that would provide access to the greatest number of visitors, without impacting upon the Tate’s kerb-appeal. Some bespoke customisation had to take place, but we’re really pleased with the result.Women refilling their water bottles at Tate Modern London.

The WRAS-approved Elkay Endura II tubular water refill station selected for the Tate installation was chosen as much for its durability and ease of use as it was for its aesthetics. Almost brutalist in its design, it is created from vandal-proof heavy-gauge steel and has angles to match its location. But it also performs to the crowd outstandingly, smoothly delivering a gallon of fresh, filtered water per minute. With hands-free operation and a design that can comfortably accommodate wheelchairs, it’s a bottle filler that is accessible to everyone. And thanks to the bespoke paintwork carried out by MIW, it’s satin black exterior not only seamlessly blends in with its surroundings, but is entirely rust-proof.

MIW worked on more than the unit’s aesthetics though. The installation of an additional freeze pack, will protect the drinking fountain at temperatures as low as -30°C. This means that it can be used year-round, with no need of winter draining, maximising the potential benefit to the #OneLess bottle movement. And to that end, the refill station was also fitted with a bottle tracker to record exactly how much it is used.

The Tate Modern project has been really exciting for us to work on at MIW. It may only be one unit, but it’s a unit that has such potential. If every one of the Tate’s 5.9 million visitors refilled their drinks bottles rather than replacing them, what a difference it could make to the environment. And if the Gallery works its influential magic here too, then this could be the start of something truly amazing. Because although we may not all be able to be outstanding artists, we do all have a chance to make our mark on the future. Let your mark be that you helped stop the tide of waste plastic.

Worried about getting hydrated at Wimbledon? It’s never been easier!

Thursday, 4 July 2019 10:38:09 Europe/London

It’s that time again when the oldest tennis tournament in the world is dominating the news and tennis fever is matched with equally hot weather. While you might be watching Wimbledon from the safety of your own home with easy access to drinking water, this is certainly a concern for those attending the event. North East based hydration specialists, MIW Water Cooler Experts, collaborated with Wimbledon AELTC (All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club) to install a range of drinking fountains and outdoor sports bottle fillers to make sure you can refill your bottle easily and avoid buying unsustainable plastic ones.

Established in 1877, Wimbledon team has work long and hard to ensure that the care and attention to detail given to the running and the equipment of the tournament, is extended to the environment as well. They’ve committed to taking a sustainable approach and protecting the environment whenever possible by signing up to the United Nations’ Sports for Climate Action Framework, in recognition of the critical need for sport to play its part in helping to implement the Paris Agreement and accelerate the change needed to achieve climate neutrality.

We, at MIW, are also passionate about protecting the environment, and especially reducing single use plastic, which is why we were more than happy to collaborate with Wimbledon and help them reduce the number of plastic bottles that are being used and thrown away into the landfill every year during the tournament.

Drinking fountain with bottle refill station in Wimbledon green.

We suggested the Halsey Taylor 4430-BF1U Endura II Tubular Outdoor Bottle Filling Station water fountains that by design help reduce plastic waste, but also are perfect for an event like Wimbledon because they are capable of withstanding the demands of the huge number of visitors and staff. The units Manufactured by Elkay since they merged with Halsey Taylor, the world’s oldest water cooler maker, in 1991, the Endura II was designed for swift and easy access by all. These fountains cater for all visitors, not just the able-bodied. The two bubblers and the bottle filler can be accessed from either a standing or seated position, making it ideal for wheelchair users. The Endura’s sleek body was especially finished in the required shade of Wimbledon green (colour RAL6005!).

Wimbledon fans refilling their water bottles.

Elkay's Director of International Sales, Tom Lehmkuhl, comments: "Having Halsey Taylor drinking fountains showcased at the world's most prestigious tennis arena is not only an honor but a testament to the quality of our brand and product. The UK is a very important market for Elkay, leading the way with Europe following many market trends, and MIW have played an integral part in that.”

We also installed a number of Halsey Taylor HTHBSM - Hydroboost Bottle Filling Stations which are safe, neat and hands-free operated for quick and efficient bottle-filling and active drainage to prevent any messy standing water. This makes them perfect for such a busy event as Wimbledon. 

Wimbledon ground map showing all drinking water refill pointsThere are more than 100 free water refill points and fountains around the Grounds for you to use and the Wimbledon App will provide you with information on your closest refill point. Alternatively  you can view a map of the Grounds displaying locations of the refill points.

5 facts on sustainability at Wimbledon:

1. Wimbledon removed plastic bags from the player racket stringing operation.

2. Spectators are welcome to bring their own water-filled clear bottles on-site, as well as empty metal and/or opaque water bottles.

3. In 2018, Wimbledon eliminated single-use plastic straws from The Championships.

4. Used tennis balls are collected and resold for £1, with proceeds going to the Wimbledon Foundation. Remaining balls are graded and then donated to schools and a range of other organisations.

5. To help reduce the carbon emissions associated with electricity, Wimbledon has switched to 100% renewable energy, supplied by EON.

 

 

Simply the Best: Choosing the Best Water Bottle Refill Station for Your Business

Water bottle refill stations are fast becoming the must-have item for all eco-conscious businesses. They’re a great way to provide an additional service to your customers – and staff – while quietly showcasing the fact that your business is environmentally-aware. But, with so many makes and models now available, how do you know which is the best one for you?

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Top of the Class – The Most Popular Bottle Filler for Schools

Monday, 12 November 2018 07:00:00 Europe/London

Top of the Class – The Most Popular Bottle Filler for Schools

We work with a lot of schools at MIW Water Cooler Expert. Over the years, we’ve installed thousands of drinking water solutions. And if there’s one thing that we’ve learnt, it’s that schools, colleges and universities have very specific needs. And while there’s still room for the traditional stop and slurp drinking fountains, they don’t cater for every demographic. Teenage girls, for example, aren’t overly keen on having to wipe their chins are every drink! And yet, while bottle fillers are growing in popularity, not everyone carries a bottle on them, or wants to add to the weight of the textbooks and tech dragging at their shoulders with a sloshing drinks bottle in their bag.

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Liquidating Liverpool Street Station… With Two Water Refill Stations

Monday, 5 November 2018 07:00:00 Europe/London

Liquidating Liverpool Street Station… With Two Water Refill Stations

All this year, the MIW team has been working with the London Mayor’s Office and the #OneLess campaign to facilitate the London Refill Project (LRP). The aim is the installation of 50 water bottle refill stations in high footfall areas around the capital, in a drive to reduce the purchase of single-use plastic drinks bottles. MIW’s role is the donation and installation of the refill units. So far, it’s been a really exciting project to be involved with.

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Because There is no Planet B

Thursday, 4 October 2018 12:00:00 Europe/London

Because There is no Planet B

I’ve just discovered a new brand and I’m very excited about it. Why? Because not only do they make clothing and shoes from recycled materials, but they have recently released a line of shoes specifically crafted from plastic retrieved from the ocean. How good is that?

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Is the UK Lagging Behind on Plastic Waste Reduction?

Friday, 7 September 2018 06:21:00 Europe/London

Is the UK Lagging Behind on Plastic Waste Reduction?

A few weeks ago, India made a massively surprising and massively encouraging pledge: to ban all single-use plastics by 2022. This is an enormous undertaking for a four-year period, especially for a country that is broadly recognised as one of the poorest nations in the world. And that’s really the surprise of the announcement, because common sense dictates that it should be the richer economies leading the way.Plastic waste India

Plastic is now considered to be one of the greatest environmental threats that the world faces. It’s estimated that if nothing is done to reverse the current state of affairs, by 2050, 99% of all seabirds will have ingested plastic and there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. And we’ve reached this stage because, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Every bit of plastic ever made still exists.”

Think about it: Every bit of plastic ever made still exists. All the straws, teaspoons, drinks bottles and bits of clingfilm. And that’s before we’ve got the sturdier stuff; the toys, laptop cases, car interiors and window frames.

No wonder the seas are choking on the stuff.

So, the news that India is taking a stance and banning all single-use plastics from production is a really positive and significant move. But what about the rest of the world? What about the UK?

It made the news a few months ago when the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, made a similar pledge, but her pledge was rife with caveats – most notably, that the UK would ban single-use plastics 'where it is “economically practical” to do so'. And fair enough; no one wants to see the UK find itself back in another recession, but if India can work towards the total removal of single-use plastics from production, why can’t everyone else? Why can’t we?

We’re already making headway with plastic carrier bags. And plastic straws, stirrers and cottons buds are likely to be removed from sale from next year (likely – again another caveat-filled pledge). But, we all need to do more if we’re going to make a difference. And changing our drinking culture is an easy place to start.    

Removing single-use plastic drinks bottles is as simple as providing adequate alternatives. If people have access to drinking water when they need it, then the practise of purchasing and binning plastic bottles will soon be forgotten. And with more and more businesses and organisations installing sports bottle filling stations on their premises voluntarily, it wouldn’t cost the Government much to build a public drinking water infrastructure, filling in the gaps that business has left. That alone would remove 150 plastic bottles per adult per year, which would be a tremendous start.

I’m thrilled that India has vowed to make such a positive change. With a population exceeding 1.3 billion, this move could make such a hugely positive difference. But, I can’t help but feel that it leaves the UK – and other influential countries – with a lot of catching up to do.

 

Making a Splash at Countryfile Live

Wednesday, 8 August 2018 23:28:18 Europe/London

Thames Water debut MIW’s new Marathon ‘pop-up’ water coolers at major BBC event.

MIW POP Bottle Refill station  MIW has made its name by supplying the best quality drinking fountains, watercoolers and bottle refill stations available. But, while we’re very proud of our range, in the last year or so we’ve noticed that something was missing. Being unable to source it from any of our regular manufactures, we decided to make it ourselves. Thus, the MIW Marathon was born. An innovative lightweight, easy to move, easy to assemble, yet safe and secure ‘pop-up’ water bottle refill station. And it’s been met with instant interest. 

 

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Can We Beat the EU at Its Own Game?

Monday, 6 August 2018 11:23:00 Europe/London

Can We Beat the EU at Its Own Game?

Bottle filling stations could lead the way in the EU’s plastic reduction challenge.

Whether you were for or against in the original vote, there’s little denying that so far, the Brexit negotiations have been far from edifying. The tit-for-tat tactics have often seemed like a petulant children’s game, with little gain to show for it on either side. We have now, finally seen something positive emerge though – a challenge to cut back on plastic. 

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