The EU is to oblige national governments to provide greater access to drinking fountains, encourage restaurants to offer free tap water, and raise the standards required of suppliers, as part of a move to clamp down on plastic waste and improve the health of Europeans.
Millions of Europeans, largely from impoverished groups, such as Roma communities in central eastern Europe, do not have ready access to drinking water. Yet analysis by the European commission finds that even where member states have a high standard of tap water fountains in public spaces and buildings are lacking, leading to an overuse of plastic bottles.
On Thursday the vice-president of the commission, Frans Timmermans, will announce changes to the drinking water directive to put further obligations on national governments.
More public drinking fountains then. OK.
But, erm, why did we stop having them?
In South Yorkshire, a spokesperson for Sheffield council revealed that all its fountains “were taken out a few years ago due to health risks and damage”.
I see, we’ve cracked that problem then, have we?
Well, we must have done, given that the law now says we’ve got to do again what we gave up doing because of that problem. Just be nice to see some evidence of it, that’s all.