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MP Taps Up the Take Away Trade for New Environmental Measures

Alex Sobel MP has called for the law to be changed to require take away companies to provide free water refills. In a meeting of the environmental audits committee, of which Alex Sobel is a member, Alex questioned the project manager of the #OneLess campaign:

“Do you think that there is scope to look at the licences of take-aways and fast food places so they have to provide access to tap water because that’s the area where you see a lot of littering and food on the go?”


Responding to Alex, Fiona Llewellyn project manager of the #OneLess campaign said:

“One of the reasons we have plastic packaged water is that it is convenient to have on the go, so if we can overcome some of the barriers to convenience for refilling that would be a wonderful step in the right direction to this wider problem of plastic pollution and what you suggest would be very welcome.”


The panel discussed the pros and cons of introducing a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, something that is already in place in several European countries, to curtail the amount of plastic waste that is produced in England and Wales. Drinks giant Coca-Cola were previously against such a move but have recently softened their position and are ready to support a planned proposal for a scheme in Scotland.


Speaking afterwards Alex said “It was pleasing to see progress made to encourage recycling in a practical and productive way. We must look to other countries where we can clearly see a benefit to introducing a scheme like this- Denmark manages to recycle 90% of it’s plastic bottles where we only manage to collect around 57% in the UK.”


“…Allowing refills of plastic bottles in take away restaurants would mean less plastic waste, particularly at motorway service stations. These solutions may appear small but when this is put together with other recycling schemes it can quickly add up and make a real difference.”

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