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A year in the life of a reusable bottle campaigner

A fascinating year lies ahead for those of us who regularly carry water bottles and believe in the principle of refill and reuse.

After nearly two decades of our own involvement with refillable water bottles, it seems fair to regard 2017 as a landmark year in the war against single use plastic disposability.

Where once we seemed a lone voice, railing against an endless tide of waste, 2017 became the year in which the tide at last turned and become instead an unstoppable force for change.

Let’s remind ourselves on the key event chronology of a remarkable year.

Feb 2017 thanks to our involvement in the HydraChill project, we were among a select group invited City Hall to contribute to the London Assembly General Environment Committee’s evaluation on counteracting the disposable plastic bottle menace. One of our proposals was that the Mayor announces his intention to progress change, which would instantly raise the issue profile.

April 2017 Sky launches its Ocean Rescue campaign, sending a model whale around the UK to highlight the peril of plastic pollution on marine wildlife, complementing some of the excellent work already done by the #OneLess campaign to encourage a public refill pledge. The campaign gains widespread publicity

July 2017 Environmental campaigner Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall welcomes participants to the World Eel symposium at Regents Park by holding our reusable bottle as an example of how to help counteract the burgeoning impact of single use plastic waste.

September 2017 We ourselves attend a symposium at Regent’s Park, attending a key ‘movers and shakers’ workshop at the invitation of the #OneLess bottle campaign for reusability. Some interesting contributors. Things really are moving.

October 2017. BBC’s flagship Blue Planet 2 series. If anyone could prick the collective public conscience, Sir David Attenborough could. Maybe the last critical piece required. Even the politicians now began to shape up.

November 2017.  We were invited to the Houses of Parliament, to attend a Surfers Against Sewage reception, focussing on the superb work they have undertaken in highlighting shoreline single use plastic pollution and lobbying for imposition of a returnable bottle scheme.  The Water For London campaign highlights Hydrachill as a demonstrable working example.

December 2017. Mayor Sadiq Khan announces his intention to investigate counteractive solutions. The UK media does indeed take notice, who’d have thought it?! Michael Gove announces DEFRA’s intention to improve refillable drinking water access in UK cities and to impose a deposit tax on single use plastics.

Quite some change in one calendar year. How will we judge 2018, come January 2019? We’ll look forward to summarising but even more to participating as a continued force for change.  Watch this space!!
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