A new campaign has found that a majority of school children who took part in taste tests preferred plain water from the tap or a drinking fountain to bought bottled water.
The School Drinking Water Campaign, run by the Find-A-Fountain campaign and collapsible bottle maker Ohyo toured schools and conducted taste tests in an attempt to educate children about the merits of switching to tap water from factory-bottled in the hope of reducing the amount of plastic used to make bottles that is dumped each year.
Results from the participating schools indicate that 25% of pupils preferred bottled water; 25% filtered water, while an overwhelming 50% preferred plain mains-supplied water. The test showed school children that we can help the environment and save money by choosing to refill water bottles with tap water instead of buying bottled water.
The taste tests have been taken by more than 2,000 school children across the South East, from years four-seven. Children and teachers have been encouraged to act as free drinking water detectives by uploading the sites of new fountains to the Find-A-Fountain website, which pinpoints the locations of drinking fountains and shops or businesses that will let you have free water, around the country. This also now has a its own iphone app that helps people find or upload the locations of free sources of drinking water near them. Ohyo are offering a free Collapsabottle for every new fountain uploaded to the Find-A-Fountain map as an incentive.
Guy Jeremiah, creator of the Ohyo bottle and co-founder of Find-a-Fountain says: “Drinking fountains used to be everywhere but from the 1980s onwards the public went for the slick marketing of bottled water and fountains largely fell into neglect. However, in recent years, concern about the environment has caused a rethink. This campaign has shown schools how tap water and drinking fountains can help everyone save money and reduce their impact on the environment. By educating the very youngest in our society we have a chance to change attitudes for the long term.”
John Condon, project manager for the campaign, says: “We are delighted with the response of school children to the campaign presentation and lesson plans. For those schools that opted to participate in the campaign by inviting us to present at their schools, we have been delighted to find that our project complements both their curriculum needs, as well as providing a case study for inclusion in their environmental award schemes.”
Ohyo, a reusable water bottle which collapses flat when not in use and can be carried in a pocket, was put forward as a reusable and safer alternative to disposable plastic bottles. The award-winning product was issued free to all participating school children and is now available to buy in Boots and M&S.
Posted by Amy Moylan