There has been increasing awareness recently about the amount of waste bottled water generates. Startling headline figures regarding how few single-use plastic bottles are ever recycled – a report from the London assembly environment committee published in April this year reveals that Londoners alone use 7.7 billion plastic bottles a year but only recycle 32% of them.

A proportion of unrecycled plastic bottles end up in the sea, with devastating effects on marine life. In a recent study by Newcastle University even deep sea creatures were found to have ingested plastic, showing how human’s over-use of plastic can reach even the most remote parts of the ecosystem. Worryingly for us, some of these toxic plastics find their way back onto our plates as seafood we consume becomes contaminated by exposure to tiny plastic particles.

Even scarier, if we carry on in our current rate of consuming plastics, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050.

All these facts and figures can be quite daunting, but if you are a business owner you can make a difference to reduce plastic wastage.

Whilst there has been a large amount of publicity regarding consumers choosing reusable water bottles and even increasing the number of public drinking fountains, there has been far less publicity regarding water solutions for businesses and other organizations that supply water to employees.

Water coolers represent a less wasteful alternative than individuals bringing their own water in, but even bottled coolers do produce waste plastic and transporting water by road increases the carbon debt of the end product. The greenest and most sustainable solution to on-site water provision is to use a point-of-use water cooler which uses existing infrastructure (i.e. the water main) to transport the water.

A low-cost carbon filter can then be used to reduce the chlorine content and produce an end product easily on par with most bottled water but with much less associated plastic waste.

Refill schemes promoting reusable bottles and refill points are becoming increasingly popular and with high profile campaigns such as Sky Ocean Rescue and the Thames Estuary Partnership’s ‘One Less Bottle’ campaign gaining traction on social media, there’s never been a better time to “ban the bottle” and switch to a point-of-use water cooler for your business.

 

This article was submitted by Southport-based water filter cartridge supplier Aqua Cure.

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