Chilly's Wants Water Companies To Stop Selling Plastic Bottles

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Chilly's Wants Water Companies To Stop Selling Plastic Bottles


For World Refill Day, reusable bottle brand Chilly's is demanding 'Big Water' companies ditch single use plastic. Find out why.

Francesca Brooking

Thu 16 Jun 2022

The world produces more than 400 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. Plastic water bottles are one of the biggest contributors.

With our planet in a plastic chokehold and recycling plants struggling to keep up, it’s time to break our reliance on single use plastic, but it’s not just up to the consumer.

For World Refill Day, the reusable water bottle brand Chilly’s is calling on ‘Big Water’ manufacturers to ditch their plastic bottles and join the reusable revolution instead. Here’s how.

Big Water: It's time to ditch single use plastic water bottles

What are single use plastic bottles?

Single use plastics or disposable plastics are only used once before they’re discarded or recycled. These are typically items that have a one-time use such as bottled drinks and water, plastic cutlery, plastic bags and straws.

Today, many single use plastic water bottles are deemed recyclable. However, less than one third of all plastic bottles are recycled.

What type of plastic are single use water bottles?

Single use plastic bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) which is one of the most commonly used and recycled plastics.

This plastic is relatively safe for one-time use, however, health advocates advise against reusing PET bottles as they may leach DEHP, a possible human carcinogen.

PET plastic bottles also require a lot of resources to make. A bottle containing just one litre of water needs three litres of water in the production process.

This makes bottled water 2,000 times worse for the environment than tap water.

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“Bottled water is 2,000 times worse for the environment than tap water”

Why is single use plastic a problem?

One-time use items are wasteful considering the amount of energy and resources that have gone into making them - but it goes deeper than that.

A plastic water bottle may be single use but it doesn’t go away as easily.

Some key facts about single use plastic:

  • PET plastic takes up to 450 years to break down in landfill. Before then, it breaks down into microplastics and pollutes the environment.

  • Solid waste containing about 12% of plastics burned in an incinerator releases toxic gases and is a major source of air pollution.

  • At least 15 million metric tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year. Experts predict there will be one pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish in 2025.

  • Mineral water companies are responsible for half of the plastic bottles that clog up the river Thames in London.

  • Roughly half of our global annual plastic production is single use.

  • A study found 93% of globally-sourced bottled water was contaminated with microplastics with unknown effects on our health.

What can replace single use plastic?

The best way to tackle the single use plastic problem is to steer clear of it altogether.

Opt for reusable water bottles instead. Materials like aluminium is easily and infinitely recyclable.

Choose a bottle with a filter if you’re concerned about water quality. They’re particularly useful when travelling and they save you money as you don't have to keep buying water too.

You can also use the Refill app to find safe to use water refill stations across the globe.

Reduce your plastic consumption even more with our beginner's guide to going zero waste.

Use a reusable bottle Instead of a single use one

What is Chilly’s campaign?

Kicking off on World Refill Day (16th June), Chilly’s nationwide campaign is challenging three of the UK’s most popular ‘Big Water’ brands to take responsibility for their single use plastic.

Parking outside the offices of evian, Highland Spring and Fiji Water, vans will have images depicting a Chilly’s water bottle with the respective water company’s logo on it. There will be an open letter asking them to ditch single use plastic alongside it.

Working in collaboration with the provocative design studio, Uncommon, there will also be billboards in three East London locations for 24 hours.

Tim Bouscarle, co-founder of Chilly’s says: “World Refill Day aligns with Chilly’s core values of raising awareness, and creating large-scale, international change.

“This year, we wanted to go bigger than ever.

“It’s not enough just to encourage the general public to ditch single-use plastic and refill their water bottles – we need large-scale, household-name brands to step up and finally take responsibility for their role in plastic pollution.”

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“We need to see action on plastic... refill and reuse holds the key to a world with less waste”

What else is being done on World Refill Day?

An open letter led by City to Sea and Break Free From Plastic and signed by over 400 international organisations are demanding that the world’s biggest plastic polluters (Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever, Nestle and Procter & Gamble) commit to a ‘transparent, ambitious and accountable reuse and refill systems’.

The campaign is sponsored by Chilly’s too.

Natalie Fée, Founder & CEO of City to Sea comments: “As a global movement, we have the power to create a wave of change and show businesses, brands and governments that we need to see action on plastic and that refill and reuse holds the key to a world with less waste.

“We’re really excited to continue our collaboration with Chilly’s for our most ambitious campaign yet.”

Learn more about the campaign at Chilly's.

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