Monday, 4 August 2008

Should we boycott bottled water?

In my own small way, I've been making a stand recently by ordering tap water in restaurants instead of bottled water. So I was delighted to see that Thames Water and the Mayor of London have teamed up to launch London On Tap, an initiative to encourage the drinking of tap water in the capital. According to their website, London’s tap water is rated top in the UK, making it one of the best in the world, and consistently beats more expensive, bottled alternatives in taste tests. Thames Water Chief Executive David Owens claims London's water is 500 times cheaper than bottled water and emits 300 times less CO2 to process than bottled alternatives. Yet many people feel that to order tap water in a restaurant looks "cheap". To address this stigma, London On Tap has commissioned a competition to design an iconic carafe which can be used to dispense tap water in restaurants.

CIWEM calculate that 22 million tonnes of bottled water are transferred between countries every year - ludicrous when you think about it. And, according to the Bottled Water Information Office, the average briton drinks 37.6 litres of bottled water per annum. It may seem like a small gesture to ask for tap water, but if enough of us do it - just like anything else - it really can make a difference.

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