Thames Water, London Campaign for Tap Water

Thames Water and the mayor of London have joined forces to promote tap water across the watering holes and eating establishments of the capital. By using less bottled water, Londoners can help to cut climate change carbon emissions associated with its production, storage, transportation and disposal.

London On Tap, sponsored by Green Party London Assembly member Jenny Jones and supported by Environment Minister Phil Woolas aims to:

• Raise awareness of the high quality of London's tap water, the impact of bottled water on climate change and the environment, and its benefits to health and well-being;

• Empower customers in bars and restaurants to ask for tap water rather than feeling obliged to ask for more expensive bottled brands;

• Encourage restaurants, bars and hotels across London to support London On Tap and proudly serve tap water to customers, giving them a real choice about what water they can drink.

The centerpiece of the campaign will be a competition, open to all London-based designers, to design an iconic carafe made from recycled glass to be used in bars, restaurants and hotels across London to serve tap water to customers. The competition will kick-off in May this year, with the challenge to come up with a design that matches good looks with environmental sustainability.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: "My message is very simple: don’t be embarrassed to ask for tap water when you eat out. You will save money and help save the planet. By drinking less bottled water, we can cut the climate change carbon emissions coming from its production and transportation, and cut the problem of disposing of used bottles. Choosing tap water is cheaper and a perfectly acceptable alternative to bottled water, and it will help to protect the environment. "

Thames Water Chief Executive David Owens, said: "We all know the benefits of keeping hydrated and luckily in London we have probably the best drinking water in the world. We should all be proud to drink it. Each year, our water meets more than half a million stringent quality tests, and in a recent independent taste test rated higher than 20 more expensive, bottled brands."

"At less than a tenth of a penny a liter, it's up to 500 times cheaper than bottled water, and is kinder to the environment, emitting 300 times less CO2 to process it than bottled alternatives. So, tap water is not only good for you – it's good for London and good for the environment," Owens said.

Friends of the Earth Executive Director Tony Juniper said: "Drinking tap water cuts plastic and glass waste and reduces the size of our carbon footprint. Shipping water around in bottles, sometimes over thousands of miles, is mad from an environmental point of view. In facing the pressing challenge of climate change, we need to reduce the amount of resources we use up and cut the distance that products travel. In both respects, tap water is a far better choice than bottled. We hope that restaurants, bars and clubs across the capital will make London a sustainability leader by offering tap water first."

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