UKGBC Innovation Portal

Market ready

Design out Single-Use Plastic water bottles - #Refill #Reuse #Reduce

Our ambition is to eradicate the waste from single-use plastic water bottles. 

How is that relevant to the built environment?

The damage that single-use plastic is having on our environment is now well documented, undeniably catastrophic and the demand for change is now clear.  Change, however, requires a solution that is integrated into the built environment so it becomes part of the fabric of our daily lives. Change cannot happen unless the environment is equipped.

Our idea is simple, yet effective; Integrate a network of Refill Stations throughout our built environment so a convenient, easy and attractive sustainable solution to drinking water becomes the norm.

Aren’t there already drinking water fountains around in buildings?

Yes and no. Yes, they are around. No, there are nowhere near enough and they are often difficult to use (especially to fill a bottle) and are often found hiding in corners somewhere.

Why is this different?

We have designed our refill stations (for indoor and outdoor use) with style, functionality and sustainability in mind.  We believe our refill stations are different because they are very easy to install and maintain, are robust, sustainable and also aesthetic. We want Refill Stations that are not only practical but also look good so they enhance a space, stand out and thus attract people to use them. Having a plain, uninspiring refill station in the corner is outdated, we need to make it attractive, easy and visible for people to #Refill #Reuse #Reduce (Maximise the environment's tap water and drink in the most sustainable way).

Why is this important l in the grand scheme of building/construction?  

Yes! Small things add up:

"The UK uses 13 billion plastic bottles every year.”

“Only 7.5 billion [of which] are recycled. The remaining 5.5 billion are landfilled, littered, or incinerated“Recycling” is no longer enough, we need a reuse solution.

 “In the last 15 years, consumption of bottled water has doubled. The average person in the UK will use 150 plastic water bottles every year” 

 “If just 1 in 10 Brits Refilled just once a week, we’d save around 340 million plastic bottles a year!We need to make it easy and convenient for people to Refill.

Bans on single-use plastics are coming. - The Time is Now. 


So, if when designing, building, modifying and refurbing buildings/spaces we design in an attractive and well thought out refill station solution, then we design out the need for single-use bottled of water.

This is something that would not only save a huge amount of plastic waste, but also start to create a built environment fit for promoting and enabling change against single-use plastic bottles that create positive influence and impact for years to come.


Join the Pipe


edited on Oct 30, 2018 by Joanna Leigh

Portal Bot Oct 31, 2018

Status label added: Market ready