England & Wales

Bottled water

The Governor of New York is phasing out the use of bottled water in the public sector, it’s a great initiative that paves the way for local government in the US. Similarly, local government in the UK should be talking about introducing such initiatives. Making tap water available for free not only addresses the issue of environmental sustainability, but also equity. It reduces the use of plastic bottles and enables all members of society to access water regardless of their financial means. There was a campaign in London last year to promote tap water in restaurants, pubs and bars, which is a welcome start. Nevertheless, moves to introduce initiatives like these will not be without their teething problems. Councils should also think about how they communicate with local communities about responsible water use because its scarcity will be a critical issue in the future, especially for people in developing countries.