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LONDON: Baked by a blazing summer and keen to reduce their use of plastic bottles, Londoners are welcoming a scheme to re-introduce drinking-water fountains across the British capital.

Four have already been installed and one of them, off 1960s fashion hotspot Carnaby Street, has been used more than 10,000 times a month this summer, the office of London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Tuesday. Now 16 more are planned this year.

Public drinking fountains were common in London as long ago as the Victorian era but have long since made way for plastic bottles, with the average adult Londoner buying more than three a week, according to Khan’s office.

“Water fountains are a simple but effective way to encourage Londoners and visitors to ditch plastic bottles and instead refill reusable ones,” said Khan in a statement.

“Some of these are already attracting thousands of visitors a day and City Hall are working on plans to secure many more across London.”

The Mayor’s office has worked with the Zoological Society of Londons (ZSL) #OneLess campaign to secure the locations of the fountains. ZSL assessed the site applications on accessibility, visibility and footfall to ensure water refills are available for as many people as possible.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2018