Force cafes to provide free tap water, say MPs, as war against plastic bottles intensifies

Cafes, sandwich shops and fast-food outlets should be forced to offer free drinking water on request to help reduce the number of plastic bottles, the head of an influential Commons committee has suggested.
Mary Creagh, the leader of the Environment Audit select committee, accused the Government of "dragging its" feet on the plastic bottle crisis and said it should be a legal requirement for all food and drink retailers to provide tapwater.
Ms Creagh said: “The Government should go further and make it a legal requirement for all premises that serve food or drink to provide drinking water on request.
“The UK has safe, clean tap water and failing to provide it leads to unnecessary use of plastic water bottles which clog up our river and seas.” A recent House of Commons report found that the UK drinks its way through 38.5 million plastic bottles every day, around 700,000 of which end up littering the streets.
Plastic bottles are believed to take roughly 450 years to degrade.
Current legislation only requires licensed premises, such as bars and restaurants, to provide tap water on request.
They are also allowed to charge customers for the use of a glass and service.
The Government yesterday acknowledged “a culture shift” was required to ensure the public feel comfortable asking for tap water but made no commitment to legislate on free access.
Plastic bottles and nappies take 450 years to biodegrade Estimated time taken to biodegrade (years)
In January the Government launch a 25-year environment plan with targets to reduce plastic waste.

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