Recycling a plastic bottle

Is it time for a plastic bottle tax?

21 February 2017

England's plastic bag usage has dropped 85% since the 5p plastic bag charge was introduced[1].

  • Single-use plastic drinks bottles are one of the main forms of litter in the Thames[2].
  • On average, Londoners buy 3.37 plastic bottles of water each week. This is more than anywhere else in England[3].
  • UK production of bottled water has grown year on year, from 1,574 million litres in 2008 to 2,246 million litres in 2015[4].

What is the bottled water industry doing to minimise the environmental impact of plastic bottled water? 

How can people be encouraged to recycle more of their plastic single-use water bottles?

The London Assembly Environment Committee will tomorrow begin its investigation into the environmental impact of bottled water in the capital.

The following topics will be examined: consumption levels and trends; environmental impact; reducing bottle use; mitigating environmental impacts and Mayoral action.

The guests are:

  • Kinvara Carey, General Manager, Natural Hydration Council
  • Patrick Feehily, Assistant Director - Environment, Greater London Authority (GLA)
  • Nick Davis, Founding Director, HydraChill
  • Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive, Surfers Against Sewage
  • Fiona Llewellyn, Project Manager, #OneLess campaign
  • Claire Shrewsbury, England Funder Manager, Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)

The meeting will take place on Wednesday 22 February from 10:00am in the Chamber at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend.  

The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Follow us @LondonAssembly and take part in the meeting discussion using #AssemblyEnv and #BottledWater

Notes to editors

  1. England's plastic bag usage drops 85% since 5p charge introduced - The Guardian, 30 July 2016.
  2. #OneLess and Thames21 shoreline litter surveys 2016 and 2017.
  3. London contributes to shameful UK pollution problem as Britons admit to using 7.7 billion plastic bottles of water a year, Brita press release.
  4. Water Vital Statistics: Industry Data, British Bottled Water Products.
  5. Full Agenda papers.
  6. Leonie Cooper AM, Chair of the Environment Committee is available for interview.  See contact details below.
  7. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan on 020 7983 4603.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.