Pret A Manger has installed water fountains in 250 of its stores that anyone can use, regardless of whether they are a customer.
The sandwich-shop chain said it wanted to encourage customers and passersby to top up a refillable bottle instead of purchasing a new one when they’re on the go in order to help curb plastic waste.
It hopes the self-service water fountains will help to “remove the barrier” of asking for a refill, which may lead to people either purchasing a new bottle unnecessarily or simply going thirsty.
Too shy to ask staff – over one third of people polled admitted they felt uncomfortable asking a staff member in a restaurant or café to refill their water bottle when they had not made a purchase, according to research commissioned by the Refill, an app that provides directions to free water fountains. One in five of respondents felt this way even when they had bought something.
Pret claimed that if each water fountain is used just 10 times per day, this will prevent “around one million plastic bottles” from being churned out every year.
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