MAYOR TO LEAD PLASTIC BOTTLE BATTLE
Mayor to Lead Plastic Bottle Battle – The new Mayor of London must lead the way on ocean health by solving the city’s single-use plastic water bottle problem, states the #oneless programme.
The new Mayor of London must ensure that the capital leads the way on ocean health by building on progress and strengthening commitments to tackle single-use plastic water bottle pollution.
40 organisations, led by the #OneLess campaign, are calling on London’s mayoral candidates to commit to providing equitable access to free public refill points throughout the city and raising awareness of the harmful impact of single-use plastics on our environment .
The Green Party’s mayoral candidate Sian Berry, Renew’s Kam Balayev and independent candidate Farah London have all already confirmed their support for the campaign’s statement.
Tackling the scourge of single-use plastic water bottles across the capital is one of the most effective and achievable actions the new Mayor could take to safeguard the health of Londoners, the city’s beloved green and blue spaces, and the ocean.
Organisations working to eliminate single-use plastic water bottle pollution in London have come together to call on London’s mayoral candidates to build on the progress that has already been made and further strengthen commitments. 40 organisations, institutions and businesses including Selfridges, Tate, King’s College London Surfers Against Sewage and Keep Britain Tidy, have signed a joint statement led by the #OneLess campaign, urging the future Mayor of London to take critical action to tackle the scourge of single-use plastic water bottles across the city.
The joint statement calls on London’s future Mayor to:
Promote London as a city leading the charge to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic and build awareness of the impact of single-use plastics on our ocean;
Ensure sufficient and equal access to public refill points in London;
Eradicate single-use plastic water bottles in GLA buildings and support London businesses to do the same.
The Green Party’s mayoral candidate Sian Berry, Renew’s Kam Balayev and independent candidate Farah London have all endorsed the calls, spearheaded by the #OneLess campaign and supported by 40 organisations working to rid the city of single-use plastic water bottles.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the interconnectedness of human health and wellbeing, and the health of the environment. A healthy ocean provides critical life support functions for the entire planet, including providing half the oxygen we breathe. However, the tide of single-use plastic choking the ocean continues to rise. A recent report predicted that the annual flow of single-use plastic to our ocean will triple by 2040 unless urgent action is taken. At present, almost eight billion single-use plastic bottles are bought in the UK annually, with Londoners purchasing 175 plastic water bottles on average per person every year.
Supporting London’s shift to a city where refilling and reusing is the norm and unnecessary single-use plastic water bottles are a thing of the past, would be an important and achievable act of ocean protection that the future Mayor of London could take. Safeguarding our ocean’s health for generations to come will be imperative in the face of the climate crisis.
“ Our ocean is home to the majority of life on earth. It buffers us from the worst impacts of the climate crises, yet we continue to choke it with plastic. We can help stop this by simply refusing to use single-use plastic water bottles. By stopping single-use plastic water bottles from entering our ocean in the first place, we can help to ensure it remains healthy for future generations.” (Fiona Llewellyn – #OneLess Senior Project Manager)
Solving London’s single-use plastic water bottle problem would also help protect the city’s beloved blue and green spaces, an integral part of London’s identity, providing millions with clean air, immeasurable physical and mental wellbeing benefits, and cultural value. These spaces also provide a home for nature in the city. Reducing the environmental pressures our blue and green spaces face will be imperative in the face of the global climate and biodiversity crises.
London has already made significant progress on the path towards becoming a single-use plastic water bottle free city. The #OneLess campaign has helped to start a network of almost 100 water fountains across the city. However there is still more that needs to be done to ensure reuse and refilling becomes the norm across the city and single-use bottles become a thing of the past.
King’s College London are committed to taking action to eliminate single-use plastic water bottles from across our campuses. “We’ve taken measures to encourage our students, staff and visitors to go #OneLess and ditch single use plastic water bottles, which has included installing water fountains across our campuses. It is crucial that the future Mayor of London builds on the progress London has already made to ensure that our city continues to lead the way on ocean plastic pollution by facilitating a shift in the way Londoners drink water, from single-use plastic water bottles, to reusing and refilling”. (Kat Thorne- Director of Sustainability, King’s College London)
By committing to the ambitious targets the #OneLess campaign and statement signatories have outlined, London’s future Mayor can demonstrate a commitment to not only ocean health and climate action, but also to social justice and the wellbeing of their constituents and future generations.