MIW London Drinking Fountain Fund Update

155,000 Plastic Bottles

For a good percentage of the last twelve months the posts on this blog have been dedicated to one subject: MIW’s work with the London Drinking Fountain Fund. In a collaboration with the London Mayor’s Office and #OneLess campaign, MIW donated 20 bottle filling stations for installation around London. It was a really exciting project to be involved with. Not least, because it felt like we were doing something that could make a real difference. That difference being to reduce waste plastic throughout the city by encouraging a refill culture.

Of course, when you embark on something like this, the big concern is whether you’ll receive the results you were aiming for. Would anyone use the bottle fillers? Would people even realise that they were there?

Well, the results are in. And they are very, very pleasing.

London Drinking Fountain Fund Facts and Figures

In the twelve months since installation, MIW’s London Drinking Fountain Fund bottle fillers have saved a staggering…

Drumroll, please…

155,000 plastic bottles

Prior to installation, every one of the bottle fillers was fitted with a tracker to monitor usage. The hope was that the data collected would be enough to show other organisations and businesses the potential environmental value of installing further units. While we were hopeful that the growing public awareness of the problems waste plastic is causing the environment would lead to the embracing of the bottle fillers, we never could have predicted just how well the units would be used.

During the twelve months since the project began an enormous 77,000 litres of water has been dispensed. Let’s say that again:

77,000 litres of water

And demand just keeps on growing.

In fact, demand has been so great for the fountains that the two bottle fillers installed in Liverpool Street station dispensed nearly 30,000 litres of water alone. That’s the equivalent to 60,000 plastic drinks bottles worth… Sorry W.H. Smith!

And all of this has come from just 20 bottle filling stations in the course of a year. And, in fact, some of them haven’t even been in a full year yet. Imagine what we could all achieve if there were more bottle fillers available. If they were easy and free to access. And if we all started using them.

There’s More to Come…

The good news is that the GLA/London Mayor’s Office has just embarked on a similar project with Thames Water. This time, they’ve asked MIW to install 100 drinking fountains across London. It’s a massive project and will take some planning, but it’s such a positive step. And now that we’ve seen how well the #OneLess bottle fillers have been received, we’re even more galvanised to get on with the work.

So, let’s hear it for the bottle fillers, all of you conscientious refillers, and every company out there doing their bit to cut waste plastic. 155,000 plastic bottles saved? Hip-hip-hooray!