More Drinking Fountains, Less Plastic

Britons drink nearly three billion bottles of water every year, with half a billion of them shipped or flown from overseas. To reduce its carbon footprint, the city of London is updating its urban landscape one fountain at a time.

City chiefs are currently working on plans to install a series of drinking fountains in London's Square Mile. If the plans are successful, the Corporation of London will install fountains across the City. The first standpipe-style fountain will be built close to St. Paul's cathedral early in the new year to encourage both tourists and local workers to stop buying bottled water.

The announcement is seen as a victory for the Evening Standard's Water on Tap campaign, which has persuaded 3,000 London restaurants, pubs and bars to automatically offer their customers tap water.

The fountains will provide clean Thames Water for free. The Corporation of London is also bidding for funding to restore and repair such historical drinking fountains as the Maternite in Royal Exchange, St. Dunstan's in Fleet Street and the fountains on Blackfriars Bridge and in Finsbury Square.

If London can do it, why can't New York City?