British firm MIW Water Cooler Experts is working with Thames Water and the Mayor of London to encourage people to stay hydrated on the move by refilling reusable water bottles rather than buying bottled water.
An initial network of 100 drinking water fountains will be available across busy areas of London starting in July. The fountains have a bespoke, eye-catching appearance featuring Thames Water’s iconic water droplet, designed and manufactured by MIW in the North East of England.
The average adult in London buys more than three plastic water bottles every week, equating to some 175 bottles every year. In total, around 7.7 billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year, resulting in substantial amounts of single-use plastic waste. The production of bottled water is around 500 times more carbon intensive than tap water, while tap water often has more stringent quality tests than many bottled water brands. Thames Water, for example, runs around half a million test each year.
MIW is the UK’s leading supplier for indoor and outdoor bottle refill stations and has pledged to service and maintain the fountains, which will be installed in high-footfall areas, for a minimum of 25 years. Manufactured in rust-proof, high-quality marine grade stainless steel, the vandal-resistant fountains also have freeze protection built in to cope with temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius, meaning they will be operational all year and will not need to be drained down during winter.
MIW Water Cooler Experts is passionate about reducing single use plastic and helped establish the London Drinking Fountain Fund with the GLA as part of the #OneLess movement in the capital. MIW is also behind the drinking fountains installed in Wembley Stadium, Borough Market, London Zoo, Wimbledon Tennis Club, Heathrow Airport and many UK train stations. MIW also worked with Thames Water to supply its pop-up fountains for the BBC Country File show last summer.
Steve Spencer, chief operating officer at Thames Water, said, “London’s tap water is world class and we’re celebrating this by building a network of water fountains so it’s even more accessible to people on the move.
“Tap water is incredible value for money and just as good as bottled water, but without the plastic packaging, so we want people to enjoy it by using the fountains. Together we can all drive down plastic waste from single-use water bottles, helping to care for our rivers and oceans, now and for generations to come.”
Mike Winter, managing director of MIW Water Cooler Experts, said, “Thames Water supplies our capital with some of the best quality water in the world. Now, busy Londoners on the move can quickly access free, great tasting water – these latest models of outdoor fountains will refill a 500ml bottle in under 7 seconds and are specially designed to be durable and accessible, making them ideal for high traffic public areas.”