Some of us at Unplastic are old enough to remember photos of Kate Moss in the ’90s clutching a bottle of Evian. What was made cool by supermodels quickly became ubiquitous, with the consumption of bottled water doubling in the last 15 years.
Those defining backstage moments have led us to where we are now, with each of us downing an average of three bottles of water a week. Most bottles do not get recycled: 2,500 water bottles were collected from the banks of a stretch of the Thames on a single day last year.
Plastic waste not withstanding, why are we even drinking bottled water? Evian is not the elixir of life and it’s not going to make you look remotely like Kate Moss. While access to clean water is a crisis in many parts of the world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, the UK has had piped water for 200 years and the London domestic supply was deemed an inspiration to other cities way back in the 1820s. Selling bottled water to Londoners is akin to coals to Newcastle. If you don’t believe us, find out how clean London’s and the rest of the UK’s tap water is here.
In an ironic twist, it turns out bottled water is where the contamination lies. Researchers at the State University of New York at Fredonia found plastic in 93 percent of bottled water samples – which included Evian, Aquafina, Dasani, Aqua, Nestle Pure Life and San Pellegrino – originating from the cap and the industrial bottling process.
The fastest way to kill a trend is to have it taken on by the masses. So let’s have one final water cooler moment, and agree to head to the tap.
Get your workplace to join the #OneLess movement.
Sign up to refill water bottles.
Donate to WaterAid UK.