Government taps water
Government departments have been told to stop serving bottled water at meetings and switch to tap water instead. Defra is among departments that have already done so – it had been using more than 1000 bottles a month.
Tap water uses 0.3% of the energy needed to produce bottled water, without creating the waste, according to a government spokesman. The new policy is expected to come into effect by the summer and is ‘a small part of a much bigger programme of action in this area’. Recently it was announced that Whitehall would also be phasing out its use of plastic bags ‘in line with aims for the wider business community’.
Last month BBC’s Panorama programme looked at the cost of bottled water supplied to English and Welsh councils, following requests for details under the Freedom of Information Act. The programme ‘Bottled water – Who needs it?’ found councils ran up a bill of more than £5m. Hampshire County Council topped the list, with a bottled water bill of £141,215 between November 2006 and October 2007.