London Mayor Seeks Revival of Public Drinking Fountains


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The mayor, in line with a information launch from his workplace, “has requested Metropolis Corridor officers to look at the feasibility of a pilot neighborhood water refill scheme or different interventions.” And he “helps boroughs in figuring out appropriate areas for water fountains and bottle-refill stations in the course of the planning in new or redeveloped public areas, reminiscent of city facilities, procuring malls, parks and squares.”


A Wallace Fountain within the Palais Royal gardens in Paris.

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Miguel Medina/Agence France-Presse — Getty Pictures

He’s additionally searching for to influence companies to make faucet water freely obtainable and has written to the federal government to “talk about the likelihood” of making an attempt a deposit-return program in addition to different measures.

Globally, plastic bottles have grow to be an environmentalist’s nightmare, with some reviews suggesting that about half of the billions of bottles in circulation usually are not recycled. Such is the broader concern about plastic pollution British baby care supplier, Tops Day Nurseries, stated in a weblog posting final month that it was banning glitter from its nurseries as a result of it’s a microplastic that harms the atmosphere.

However plastic bottles are in a unique league.

Britain, as an example, makes use of 35 million each day, in line with the advocacy group Recycle Now, which lamented that “practically 16 million plastic bottles aren’t being put out for recycling.”

On the similar time, although, the well being authorities have questioned whether or not reused plastic bottles are a hazard, since they might harbor micro organism and different contaminants. And there are efforts to introduce an edible water bottle, product of a seaweed extract, that may be eaten when the water has been drunk.

Public ingesting fountains, in contrast, have dwindled since their introduction in Victorian instances.

In some boroughs of London and cities exterior the capital, certainly, there are none, The Guardian reported on Monday. Against this, Paris — one in all London’s nice rivals within the declare to metropolitan excellence — boasts a broad array of ingesting fountains, together with some newer ones that dispense glowing water, and the older, however imposing, so-called Wallace Fountains created with donations from a British philanthropist, Sir Richard Wallace, within the late 19th century to offer clear water for the poor.

In 2008, Mr. Johnson, the previous mayor, introduced plans for an incredible growth of public ingesting fountains however, Mr. Khan’s workplace stated on Monday, “a number of proposals for offering water fountains and bottle-refill stations have been explored however there have been issues over excessive set up prices.”

Nevertheless, there could also be different components, reminiscent of stress from curiosity teams to guard retailers at prepare stations, as an example, who revenue by promoting bottled water and wouldn’t welcome the competitors from free water fountains, The Guardian stated.

Nonetheless, such fountains appear to have had a powerful following for a very long time.

The primary ingesting fountain in London went onstream in 1859 “towards a background of a grimy River Thames stuffed with untreated sewage, garbage and effluent from factories, water borne cholera however, most significantly, insufficient free ingesting water,” stated The Consuming Fountain Affiliation, a nonprofit group. “Inside a short while it was getting used each day by round 7,000 folks.”

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