Number of water fountains in Hackney to be tripled

Councillor Jon Burke and deputy mayor Feryal Demirci using a new water fountain. Pic: Hackney Council

Twenty-six new water fountains are to be installed throughout Hackney by 2022, the council revealed yesterday.

The initiative seeks to combat single-use plastics by encouraging re-use in the borough’s town centres, parks, and public buildings.

The programme has already seen the installation of fountains at Dalston CLR James Library, Hackney Marshes Pavilion and Mabley Green, areas with high levels of single-use plastic consumption.

Clapton Library, Hackney Marshes Centre and Broadway Market are among several other sites set for completion by May 2022, which will bring the total number of water fountains in the borough to 36.

When asked to provide an estimate for the prospective decrease in single-use plastics following the installation of the fountains, Hackney Council did not respond.

Councillor Jon Burke, cabinet member for energy, waste, transport and public realm, said: “This administration was elected on a radical municipalist manifesto to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated in Hackney.”

“Plastic waste is a blight on our planet, with over 420 million plastic bottles ending up in our oceans due to littering and uncontrolled waste disposal.”

“[We] are delivering an important structural change that makes it easy for our residents to minimise the amount of plastic forced on them by the fossil fuel and chemicals industry.”

The scheme aims to ensure public access to drinking water from any point in the borough. These efforts will be supported by 200 Hackney businesses who have signed-up to the Refill app, which provides guaranteed locations to refill water bottles.

This follows the announcement that Hackney Council has pledged to plant 5,000 trees on streets and 1,000 trees in parks to tackle the climate emergency declared in the borough last February by Mayor Philip Glanville.

The installation of water fountains in Hackney mirrors a broader, city-wide initiative to reduce single-use plastic in London’s busiest areas.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has partnered with Thames Water to install a network of over 100 drinking fountains throughout the capital by the end of 2020.

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