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London-based department store chain Selfridges has imposed an outright ban on the sale of all disposable plastic bottles as it seeks to play its part in reducing the stream of post-consumer waste in the world’s oceans.
The move is expected to result in 400,000 fewer single-use water bottles being thrown away each year by equipping its restaurants and food halls with water fountains for shoppers to fill up their own reusable containers. Customers wishing to buy packaged water will be offered glass bottles and cartons instead, as the retailer seeks to further minimise its plastics footprint following the introduction of a £0.05 plastic bag levy.
The initiative forms part of an ongoing partnership with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Marine Reserves Coalition (MRC), which aims to reduce plastic waste and help facilitate a change in behaviour around the use of plastic.
Heather Koldewey, head of ZSL’s global conservation programmes, said: “There is nowhere in the world’s oceans that has been sampled that doesn’t have plastic in it, from the deepest seas to the most remote islands. What’s frightening about that is that common types of plastic were only invented in the 1950s and have had a massive global impact in a very short period.”
A spokesperson from the Natural Hydration Council said: “Bottled water represents approximately 18% of the packaged soft drinks market and has the lowest environmental impact of all soft drinks. All plastic bottles are 100% recyclable and given the health benefits of choosing a drink with no calories or sugar, all water, whether tap, still or sparkling should be encouraged.”
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