Following the news on Friday that department store, Selfridges, has permanently removed all plastic water bottles from its stores as a part of a new campaign to tackle the issue of plastic ocean waste, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) has responded saying it is “a misguided attempt to tackle marine litter”.
Philip Law, the BPF’s director general said, “The availability of water in portable, lightweight bottles promotes good health and can be critical in emergency situations. Plastic products do not litter themselves onto our streets or into our oceans, people do.”
In addition, Law commented on the positive progress being made in plastic bottle recycling saying: “During 2014, nearly 60% of PET plastic bottles in the household waste stream were collected for recycling. We all need to ensure that recycling rates continue to grow and we urge people to recycle their plastic bottles and not discard them as litter. The only way we can truly tackle littering is not by indiscriminately banning products but through ongoing behavioural change programmes.”
Commenting on the recent media coverage (including on this very website: click here) surrounding Selfridges’ decision, a spokesperson for the Natural Hydration Council said, “Bottled water represents approximately 18 percent of the packaged soft drinks market and has the lowest environmental impact of all soft drinks. All plastic bottles are 100 percent recyclable.”
BPF is a strong believer that issues surrounding litter can only be addressed by changing consumer behaviour. The Plastics Industry fully supports public campaigns against littering and sponsors a number of on-the-go recycling initiatives to help people dispose of their empty bottles and encourage sustainability.
Selfridges commented last week that: “We’ve permanently removed all single-use plastic water bottles from our stores in favour of our new glass bottled water range and reusable water vessels,” the department store said. “Shop our collection and refill your vessel at our new Water Bar and Sea Change Drinking Fountain at Selfridges Oxford Street, London.”