Franke and Beggs & Partners team up in a bid to fight against the war on plastic with drinking fountains campaign
Bottled water accounts for around half of all plastic bottles and in the last 15 years consumption of bottled water has doubled. Research suggests that providing more free drinking water taps and fountains in public spaces could lead to a 65% reduction in plastic.
For the past week Franke in collaboration with Beggs & Partners have been promoting free drinking water in all six Beggs and Partners branches across Northern Ireland. We care a lot about the environmental impact the plastic waste is having on our planet, and we are keen to get on board. Matched with our efforts to do so, we have reusable drinking bottles that we would like to share with the world to fill up at these stations in an effort to join and cut the world waste!
Alistair Scott, Contracts Manager at Beggs & Partners commented “The ‘Blue Planet’ effect has driven a positive change of attitude and a genuine desire to reduce plastic waste going to landfill or even worse, polluting our seas. We are delighted to work with Franke to offer a quick and easy means of refilling bottles so our customers can enjoy cool, refreshing water throughout the day.
Available at all six Beggs and Partners Sales Counter’s located in Belfast, Ballymena, Newtownards, Portadown, Maghera and Lisburn.”
We will continue to push Franke drinking fountains and refillable bottles around the UK to help fight the war on plastic. For more information on drinking fountains or how to receive a refillable bottle please get in touch!
Plastic - the facts
Our current world is flooded in plastic, research shows that a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and this is set to increase by another 20% by 2021 (Laville and Taylor, 2018). The earth is being crushed by this plastic overload and it is said that this issue is going to be as serious as climate change in the near future. The National Geographic found that an astonishing 91% of the worlds plastic isn’t recycled. In 2015 approximately 6300 Mt of plastic waste had been generated, around 9% of which had been recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment (Geyer, Jambeck and Law, 2017). These statistics have led to the prediction that by 2050 the oceans will be filled with more plastic than fish (approx. 34 billion tonnes).
This sorrowful statistic is becoming one of the most well known and it is definitely time for a change, we can make our oceans cleaner and healthier, if we start to tackle this extensive amount of plastic.
Another staggering fact from an article in the Guardian is that fewer than half of the bottles bought in the UK 2016 were collected for recycling. What's worse, is the fact that only 7% of those were turned into new bottles. Where did the plastic bottles end up? In landfill or in the ocean...
Greenpeace is a huge supporter of the war on plastic and is campaigning to end the flow of plastic into our precious oceans. The amount of plastic being dumped into the ocean is swamping the beautiful clear waters with big pieces of plastic that are choking and entangling turtles, seabirds, zooplankton and even whales. Plastic is now entering every level of the ocean food chain and even ending up in the food on our plates. A scary thought? If a change isn’t made then soon then the plastic will even end up in all our bodies, if it hasn’t already. A study from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences shows that “93% of Americans have plastic in their blood & urine”, this frightening fact emphasises the need to reduce the plastic in our oceans.
Reducing plastic - the plan...
With the government's plan to clear up plastic waste within 25 years, it’s fair to say that action needs to be taken now. Retail stores have already got on board with the initiative to try and produce eco-friendly or plastic-free packaging. Iceland was one of the first major retailers to commit to eliminate plastic packaging for all its own-brand products (Slawson, 2018). They are also pledging to remove all plastic waste by 2023, a healthy 20 years before the current government plan.
Other retailers including the Co-op and Coca Cola have also got on board with the Deposit Return Scheme for plastic bottles, whilst others are swapping plastic straws for paper ones, and replacing plastic coffee stirrers with wooden ones. The government also have plans for a Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), in which they are working with retailers to try and introduce plastic-free supermarket aisles in which all the food is loose (HM Government, 2018).
The well known Glastonbury festival is also on board by banning plastic bottles across the site. Emily Eavis, the site owner told BBC 6 Music “It’s an enormous project; it’s taking a lot of time to tackle with all the different people we work with” (Malloy, 2018). This is not the only initiative from the music festival and over the years they have introduced different schemes in order to become more eco friendly. In 2014 the festival recycled over 983 tonnes of waste, including items such as composted organic waste, chipped wood, clothing, tents, sleeping bags and many more. You can read more about their ‘leave no trace’ scheme here http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/information/green-glastonbury/our-green-policies/ (Digital, 2018).
How can you help?
The success of the 5p plastic bag charge in reducing the use of carrier bags by 85% shows the difference that each and everyone one of us can make. There are all sorts of ways to try and reduce, reuse and recycle the amount of plastic waste that our earth is currently carrying. Reusing items instead of relentlessly chucking them away is a great idea to help with the war on plastic. There are many great articles and blog posts giving you tips and tricks on how to do this. Our top 5 favourites are:
- Bird feeders
- DIY plastic bottle planter
- The trash-trash can
- The chandelier
- DIY charging dock
http://www.marghanita.com/perfect-use-for-your-plastic-water-bottles/ https://www.boredpanda.com/plastic-bottle-recycling-ideas/ https://www.budgetdumpster.com/blog/diy-plastic-bottles-recycling/
Next time you shop, stop and think about how you could potentially recycle or reuse the packaging. You can find more tips on how to reduce waste at home here https://www.budgetdumpster.com/blog/how-to-reduce-waste-at-home/
Water refill points
In a determined fight against the war on plastic, free water refill points will be available in every major town and city in England by 2021 (BBC News, 2018). In the last 15 years, consumption of bottled water has doubled, these account for around half of all plastic bottles and research suggests that providing more free drinking water taps and fountains in public spaces could lead to a 65% reduction.
Businesses all around the UK will have the facilities to enable people to refill and reuse bottles instead of dumping old ones and purchasing new. This aim is to reduce the millions of plastic bottles being thrown away every year. Refill is the national campaign that aims to reduce single-use plastic by introducing refill points on every street. So far, London has over 65 refill locations in local businesses and Bristol Water has over 200 locations. These refill stations include all types of businesses from cafes and restaurants, to opticians, dentists and doctors surgeries. You can view your closest refill stations and get on board by downloading the app! https://www.refill.org.uk/get-the-refill-app/.
Refill to reduce landfill and make our planet wonderful...
BBC News. (2018). Free water in England to cut plastic waste. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-42808302 [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].
Digital, P. (2018). Glastonbury Festival - Our green policies. [online] Glastonbury Festival - 21st-25th June, 2017. Available at: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/information/green-glastonbury/our-green-policies/. [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].
Geyer, R., Jambeck, J. and Law, K. (2017). Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Science Advances, 3(7), p.e1700782.
HM Government (2018). A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment. London: Open Government Licence.
Iceland.co.uk. (2018). [online] Available at: http://about.iceland.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Iceland-aims-to-be-plastic-free-across-own-label-range-by-2023-16.1.18.pdf [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].
Laville, S. and Taylor, M. (2018). A million bottles a minute: world's plastic binge 'as dangerous as climate change'. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].
Malloy, T. (2018). Emily Eavis reveals 'enormous' Glastonbury 2019 project. [online] bristolpost. Available at: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/emily-eavis-reveals-enormous-glastonbury-1223103 [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].
Parker, L. (2017). A Whopping 91% of Plastic Isn't Recycled. [online] News.nationalgeographic.com. Available at: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/ [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].
Secure.greenpeace.org.uk. (2018). Plastic doesn't belong in our oceans. [online] Available at: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/plastics-pledge-v3 [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].
Slawson, N. (2018). Iceland supermarket vows to eliminate plastic on all own-branded products. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jan/15/iceland-vows-to-eliminate-plastic-on-all-own-branded-products [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].