How venues can get on the right side of the plastic debate with new scheme

Posted on 25/01/2018 · Posted in Mapping The Plastic Debate

Industry body Water UK has launched a voluntary scheme to encourage hospitality outlets to offer free water refill stations for consumers. It hopes that the initiative will have widespread implementation so that, by 2021, Brits can access the scheme in all major cities.

Whilst hospitality already have to provide free water, this initiative is the latest development in the nationwide response to consumers’ demand that businesses reduce plastic waste.

The first major brand to sign up to the scheme is Whitbread, which owns Costa Coffee and Premier Inn, with the company pledging to provide water points in all of its branches from March 2018.

Although it is not compulsory, by being swift to respond to this issue, brands can generate positive media coverage and also build equity among consumers. Those that are slow to react or considered not to be ‘pulling their weight’ could find their reputation at risk. Regardless of whether outlets join the programme or decide to develop an alternative offering to reduce their own plastic waste, it is clear that this is an issue which is not going away any time soon.

Savvy businesses will also start to consider ways to mitigate the resulting fall in revenue from traditionally bottled drinks.