Borough Market: Leading the way on drinking fountains


Reliance on single-use plastics is a worldwide environmental issue that must be tackled to diminish the climate change impact of production of plastics in large quantities and the resulting plastic pollution. Londoners consume 7.7 billion bottles of water every year - they represent 10% of all litter in the Thames and contribute to ocean pollution. 

Before the terror attack on London Bridge, Borough Market had been working on plans to introduce drinking fountains at the Market. After the Market reopened in July 2017, the leadership team and traders put the environment ahead of profit to get the fountains up and running. 

Barley developed a media campaign which delivered “national and international print, online and broadcast coverage which far exceeded our expectations” - raising awareness, encouraging use of drinking fountains as an alternative to single-use bottles and prompting others to follow suit. 

The fountains are being used by an average of 6,000 people per week. Sales of bottled water dropped by a third and have now been phased out. Borough Market has been widely cited as an example to follow and subsequent policy announcements on drinking fountains by the Mayor of London, UK Government and Water UK have referenced Borough Market’s lead.

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