Our plastics policy
Every company has a responsibility to avoid harming the environment. To take a stand against plastic pollution, we published our plastics policy – the first in the water industry.
Here’s a summary of what we’re doing across our business, supply chain and community:
In our business
- We gave every employee a refillable, aluminium water bottle so we could stop using disposable cups in water coolers.
- Our cafés now accept reusable coffee cups and we charge a levy on disposable ones with all proceeds going to charity - our usage of single-use cups has since dropped by 75%.
- We’ve rolled out a plastics training programme to all employees.
With our suppliers
- We switched to biodegradable catering supplies made from sugarcane.
- Where plastic is unavoidable, we use products that are recycled – and recyclable after use.
- We’re developing an environmental assessment to evaluate how green products are before we purchase them so we can make informed decisions.
In the community
- We’re raising awareness about the impact of plastic waste – especially plastic contained in unflushable items such as wet wipes.
- Our Beauty of the Beach campaign encourages beach-goers to dispose of rubbish responsibly – we arrange beach cleans too.
- We support Refill – a campaign to promote water refill stations in public locations so people can avoid single-use bottled water.
One form of plastic pollution is microplastics – fragments of plastic, like clothing fibres, that contaminate watercourses and our natural environment.
Although we’re not the source of plastics in our oceans, we are a link from source to sea. So, we have an opportunity to intervene. That's why we’re funding research to better understand how to extract these materials from the water we treat – and filter them out of wastewater to stop them being released back into the environment.
For example, we’re part of a study by research body UKWIR to examine the risk of microplastics in freshwater settings.
What can your organisation do?
Are you feeling inspired to tackle plastic waste in your workplace? We can help your organisation start to tackle plastic pollution.