The battle to cut waste generated by single-use plastic bottles has seen a significant movement towards promoting the availability of "free water".

Of course, tap water has always essentially been free, but members of the public often felt awkward asking for free refills - particularly if they were not buying anything.

The "Blue Planet" effect has seen awareness of plastic pollution rocket, promoting businesses and local authorities to take significant steps to make free tap water more easily accessible for people on the move.

London, in particular, has been a front-runner in pushing the availability of "free water", with the mayoral assembly declaring that they want it to be "the norm" not to use single-use plastic bottles. Four water fountains have been set up already in the capital with a further 16 due to be installed following bidding from communities to secure funding.

Londoners are also being encouraged to top up reusable water bottles at shops and cafes across the city, which have signed up to the refill scheme - marked by a sign in the window.

Drinking water fountains help mission to go plastic-free

Borough Market set the standard in London by announcing in August last year that it intends to go plastic-free. The foodie haven has already introduced water fountains to cut out any need to buy bottled drinking water from its cafes and restaurants.

Elsewhere, the refill scheme has already begun to roll out to communities outside of London and, as the momentum continues to grow, hopefully more towns and cities will choose to drink tap water instead of contributing to plastic pollution by buying bottled water.

With major chains backing the move to offer free drinking water refills and water companies getting behind the campaign to increase the availability of water fountains across the country, a real difference could soon be seen in the amount of plastic waste generated.

Drinking water is an essential resource and it is only right that it should be easily available.

Change for good

Charitable organisations such as Give Me Tap have been attempting to raise awareness of the issue of waste for some time and it is great to see widespread action taking place.

Change begins with the individual so rather than relying on bottled water, consider making a difference by drinking tap water at home. To ensure the best quality a water filter is a great investment, removing up to 99.99% of tested contaminants to ensure healthy and tasty water.

Invest in a refillable bottle and be confident in the fact you are enjoying healthy drinking water that is not going to cost the Earth.

Daniel Berko