Water refill station

Single-use plastic bottles

The Mayor of London is working to improve access to free drinking water, helping to reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles in the capital.

The average London adult buys more than three plastic water bottles every week - a startling 175 bottles every year per person. In total, some 7.7 billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year, resulting in substantial amounts of single-use plastic waste. 

The Mayor is keen for Londoners to adopt small changes that can have a big environmental impact - like refilling reusable bottles with tap water, instead of needlessly buying new single-use ones. To support this, the Mayor is improving access to drinking water in public places and in London’s many restaurants, cafes and businesses, making it easier for Londoners and visitors to the capital to refill on the go.  

These projects and others will help with the Mayor’s ambition for London to send no biodegradable or recyclable waste to landfill by 2026 and put London back on track to recycling 65% of its waste by 2030. 

Refill London

Refill London encourages shops, businesses and cafes to offer members of the public free tap water refills.

Participating businesses display ‘refill’ stickers in their windows to let people know they offer free tap water and that there is no need to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed asking for it. They also appear on the Refill app, making the nearest Refill point easy to locate.

The Mayor has teamed up with City to Sea, Thames Water and Zoological Society of London’s #OneLess Campaign on the first phase of Refill London which will operate in five areas of London: 

  • Greenwich town centre
  • Lewisham High Street
  • The Southbank and Bankside
  • Regent St
  • London Bridge

Results from the first phase will be evaluated by ZSL's #OneLess campaign and their analysis will inform plans for a wider roll-out.

How you can help

London Drinking Fountain Fund

The Mayor has committed to delivering up to 20 new water fountains across the city in 2018 to make it even easier for Londoners to refill on the go. 

The Mayor and ZSL’s #OneLess campaign are already working with land and site owners across London to install drinking water fountains. The first of these has been installed in Kingly Court, off Carnaby Street. Two further fountains are planned for Liverpool Street Station and one in Bankside’s Flat Iron Square. 

To help secure locations for the next 16 fountains, the Mayor is calling on land and site owners to bid for funding from a pot of up to £75,000, up to £50,000 of which is provided by the Mayor, with an additional £25,000 provided by water fountain specialists MIW.
Applications will be considered from site owners bidding for fountains in busy shopping streets, business districts, public attractions and other places that have high public footfall.   

Expressions of interest for the fund closed on 24 April 2018. We are now reviewing applications and will announce the recipients of the water fountains later this year.