The statistics are truly mind blowing. Every year, according to the Environmental Audit Committee, consumption of bottled water has doubled over the last 15 years. There is now an estimated 7 billion plastic water bottles used each year in the UK and around the world one million plastic bottles bought every single minute. Unfortunately, given the current public awareness of the issue, this is only getting worse. Infact, by 2021 this figure is expected to increase by 20%.
The effects of this overuse of plastic is immense. It is estimated that in the UK alone 15 million bottles are littered, landfilled or incinerated every day and this is said to produce up to 230,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
The other big problem with plastic is how much ends up in our waterways. Plastic is the most commonly found item in our rivers and in the top ten of items found on beaches across Europe. It is estimated that there are 159 plastic bottles for every mile of beach in the UK.
Once plastics enter the oceans the effect of sunlight and erosion gradually break down the plastics into micro plastics. These tiny particles are reckoned to be 1,000,000 times more toxic than the surrounding water and plastic pollution is reckoned to kill 100,000 mammals and 1 million seabirds annually.
It is a tragic situation and made all the more tragic because, if everyone cut down their use of plastic bottles, it would be simple to make a big difference. And. of course, the easiest way to cut it down is for us to use a drink container that can be reused.
The UK has some of the highest quality tap water in the world and there is no reason not to refill bottles. It is cheap, healthy and it protects the natural environment. Except that, when you are out and about it can be hard to find a convenient water source to refill your bottle. But help may be on hand.
Yesterday was designated National Refill Day and, as we think this is such a great cause, we were keen to support this as much as we can. Delve a little deeper and you’ll see that the organisation behind the day is a brilliant force for good called Refill. The aim of this is simple. They are encouraging pubs, cafes, shops and anyone with an accessible water tap to be designated a refill station.
Then, you can download their app and, if you are out and about and need a top up, you simply head for one of these locations and you can top your bottle up free of charge. Simple, efficient, effective and planet protecting. Everyone wins. Infact, Refill estimated that if all their registered stations are used just twice a day, the number of bottles saved would be a monstrous 10 million! Please join the reuse revolution. All the info is available on their informative website here. We are looking to set up a refill station at Peak Mountaineering HQ but, until that is all sorted, do consider this an informal invite to call in for a top up anytime you are in the area.
Posted by Paul