I guess we are all up for doing our bit to be green and save the planet. We dutifully separate the plastic from the glass, from the tin, from the paper, from the cardboard, and put them all into different bags to be collected by the recycling truck which, in Camden, then chucks them all into one massive bin which gets, so they say, sorted back at base… But do you not get frustrated by those endless plastic water bottles?
Yes, I know we all need to keep hydrated (although, I am sure that I read somewhere that, Bedouins treking across the desert actually minimise their water intake to minimise the amount they need to expel – does that make sense?…) – but isn’t there a better way than a trillion plastic bottles distributed through every service station, corner shop and supermarket in the land?
Well, actually, yes…. Or so I am told by my good, and very sustainable, friend Geoff Tansey who introduced me to www.tapwater.org. Basically, you buy a refillable bottle and they tell you where you can refill it – with tap water, which may not have been super filtered or contain life enhancing minerals but is perfectly drinkable, refreshing, rehydrating – and does not come in a plastic bottle! This is what they say about themselves:
tapwater.org is a not for profit organisation promoting the drinking of tap water in the UK. Our aim is to reduce the use of expensive and environmentally damaging bottled waters, by making it easy and convenient for you to access free tap water wherever you are. We are working towards a refilling station every 400 metres in urban areas.
It’s easy to get tap water when you’re at home, just turn on the tap, but what about when you are out and about? That’s where our map comes in. We are mapping points all around the UK making it convenient for you to fill up your reusable bottle with tap water, for free. Take a look at the map here or by using our iPhone app. You can also locate refilling stations by looking out for our blue ‘refill here’ sticker in participating shop windows.
We have also teamed up with other similar organisations to create a world-wide network of refilling points (including Blue W in Canada, Tap It in America, De Dopper, jointhepipe and We Tap Water in Holland) so now you can fill up whilst on holiday too.
Refilling stations are cafes, restaurants, pubs, or anyone who can provide public access tap water for refilling reusable bottles. The owners of these businesses are providing this service for free and we are encouraging our users to support them. To use a refilling point you just need your own reusable bottle, of which there are many available on the market. You don’t have to use one of our lifebottles but by buying one you would be helping us expand our network.
Go for it…. But, while in moan mode…..
Why is it that what would appear to the be the most recycle-able of all bits of plastic –those horrible squeaky polystyrene box fillers in which all electrical and a gazillion other products are packed – and those intensely irritating plastic chips which are used to fill the vacant spaced in all packaging – are not recycle-able?…. Well, certainly not anywhere in north London! Surely the repellant things should be able to be squashed up and remade into more repellant plastic chips?…. But no, it would seem not. ‘Non-recycle-able’ is where I get sent when I arrive a the dump (sorry, ‘recycling station’) with my bulging bags…
If anyone knows of a better way, please let me know. So far I have managed to flog a few boxes off to keen gardening friends for bringing on seedlings (you need to punch holes in the bottom) but that does not really put a dent in my pile….