From Yorkshire Coast Radio News.
There are calls for towns and cities across the UK to install water fountains, in a bid to crack down on the millions of plastic bottles making their way into our rivers and oceans every year.
London’s first public drinking fountain was built into the railings of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate Church in 1859 by the Quaker Samuel Gurney. Thousands of people turned out in Holborn to see it being unveiled.
Historian Emma Jones told Sky News: “Samuel Gurney was a philanthropist and he was really interested in temperance. He really wanted to keep people away from the public house. So providing free water was obviously one of the ways they thought they could achieve that.”
Whilst in the nineteenth century, drinking fountains were introduced to wean people off alcohol, nowadays, it’s hoped they could help to wean people off bottled water instead.
Since it was introduced in the 1980s water fountains have undoubtedly declined in popularity, as people are increasingly buying single use plastic bottles.
Ms Jones said: “We’ve had a real growth in the bottled water market. There was a real fitness culture – aerobics, we had Jane Fonda’s workout, selling masses of copies in 1982 and people wanted to be lycra-clad and swigging bottles of water and getting the body beautiful.”
In Bristol the water fountain is now making a comeback. The environmental research centre, Eumonia, has installed and sponsored a fountain in the city centre and is calling on other businesses to do the same.
To read the rest of this story, click on the link below: