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Refill your water bottle here

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Can you remember a time when most villages across the United Kingdom had a free to access public water fountain? No? Well I can. I grew up in the early 1970’s and my village was Bearsted just outside of Maidstone in Kent. The water fountain was centrally located on the green and was well used, particularly in the summer months by thirsty and sun drenched supporters and players of Bearsted Cricket Club.

Sometime in the 1980’s the water fountain disappeared probably a victim of local council cost cutting and health and safety concerns. The reason I mention this is because it appears we are about to reinvent the wheel once again, but in a slightly different way. Free water refill points are coming - similar, but not the same, as the old water fountains of say thirty years ago.

There is a very valid and important reason why this has been pushed through, saving the environment from drowning in a sea of used and discarded plastic drinks bottles. 2018 may in the future be looked back at as one of those watershed years when something, seemingly as small as this, marked a major milestone in combating the tide of waste.

By 2021 shops, cafes and businesses across the United Kingdom will offer free to use water refill points. The industry body Water UK expects that this simple measure will reduce the amount of disposable plastic bottles used in the UK by tens of millions a year. Already many restaurant, hotel and business chains have signed up to the program including Whitbread, owners of Premier Inn and Costa Coffee, who hope to have free water refill taps in place by March this year.

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