Londoners love a drink, be that be that from a cosy local, a cool cocktail bar or a secret speakeasy. So it comes as no surprise that Sadiq Khan has just launched his very own liquid brand - Mayorswater - which is now available from a pop-up dispensary in the heart of the West End.
Mayorswater is an attempt to tackle the greatest scourge facing our capital today, the menace of bottled water. The average Londoner buys more than three bottles of water a week, many of which are thoughtlessly discarded, contributing to environmental disaster on a planetary scale. Mayorswater is an attempt to break the shackles of screwtop addiction by providing free bottle-less water where it's most needed, and not a moment too soon!
Mayorswater can be sampled from this exciting new drinking fountain in depths of Soho. Elegantly installed, and minimally signed, passers-by are sure to deduce the true purpose of the stylish green device and nip in for a squirt. Simply place the refillable bottle you always carry with you under the nozzle, press the big silver button and await liquid nirvana. One thing's for certain, this is a sure-fire solution to the issue of plastic waste.
A smart touch is that the water issues forth relatively slowly, in a torrent barely a centimetre in diameter, so expect to be stood here for some time. Use this enforced hiatus in your daily schedule to bring some much-needed mindfulness to your life. Perhaps muse on the damage microplastic is doing to the marine environment, and how you're now helping to prevent this, or smile at the realisation you've just saved £1.29 by not buying your usual glacier-filtered isotonic brand.
Mayorswater is a movement whose time has come, a truly eco-friendly crusade to champion sustainability in this throwaway age. It was particularly exciting yesterday to see the media turn up in force at the new fountain, filming the electric spout in action and engaging in interviews with key spokespeople. Passers-by watched open-mouthed as one cameraman was given a free metal water bottle emblazoned with the #oneless brand logo, handed over inside an entirely unnecessary cardboard box, thereby perfectly embodying the campaign's core values.
To fully appreciate the Mayor's liquid revolution it's important to sample the gushing stream for yourself. Mayorswater has a crystal clear taste, zinging the palate with clean neutral flavours. It bears the hallmark of the very finest London tapwater, but without the inconvenience of requiring a tap, or having to be at home to drink it. Sip deeply and savour the refreshing brew, expertly compiled by the capital's finest mixologists, and enjoy the complete absence of aftertaste as the water glides smoothly down your throat.
Thus far Mayorswater is only available in one unique location, namely Kingly Court off Carnaby Street. This iconic three-storey alfresco destination is packed with cafes and dining establishments, indeed there are numerous places to buy expensive drinks within a few steps of the fountain. How astute of the Mayor to provide a free alternative to the rum, bubble tea and berry smoothies the surrounding businesses sell, kickstarting a sea change in planet-friendly behaviour overnight.
Dr Heather Koldewey, #OneLess campaign Director and Head of Marine and Freshwater Conservation at ZSL said: “London is a coastal city, connected to the ocean by the River Thames. Every day the ocean sends oxygen, weather, fresh water and wildlife into the heart of our city through the Thames and every day we send plastic debris back. The #OneLess ‘refill revolution’ will make a huge impact in reducing this plastic blight and London is leading the way in finding the means to enable it.”
Kingly Court is a busy location that almost all Londoners pass in the course of their daily perambulations. Every thirsty soul walking along Carnaby Street will instantly be drawn through the tiny alleyway and into the food court, telepathically beguiled by the presence of the unlabelled fountain. Convenience will be the watchword as news of Mayorswater's West End debut breaks, and consumption of pre-bottled water collapses overnight. Expect long queues.
A massive three additional locations are scheduled to receive Mayorswater fountains by the summer, only two of which will be in the same place. Punters at Liverpool Street station and Flat Iron Square in Southwark can expect the same pioneering dispensers to appear in their environs, tackling the existing hydration crisis head on. Just imagine how four water fountains will change their lives, and yours, and that of innumerable marine creatures oceanwide.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “To get a grip on needless plastic waste we need to provide simple ways of refilling and accessing free water, and water fountains are the much-needed solution. For years public water fountains have been disappearing from London’s streets; I want to hear from land owners in some of London’s most-visited locations so we can continue returning them to the capital.”
And there's more to come! The Mayor wants 16 other fountains up and running by the end of the year, so is seeking help from London's business community to enable installation going forward. Fully accessible high footfall sites are required, and interested parties are already being encouraged to go online and express an interest. Successful bidders will get their own drinking fountain to keep, and ultimately fund, and become part of the refill revolution sweeping the capital.
Imagine the transformation when rollout is complete and London boasts an initial network of up to 20 sites. With almost one drinking fountain per borough, eight million Londoners need never again feel obliged to buy bottled water. The capital is reverting back to its refill heritage, transitioning to a city where using a replenishable water bottle is the new norm.
And all of this is thanks to Mayorswater, the £50,000 campaign that's already making a genuine difference to how Londoners think about hydration. Carnaby Street's fresh new fountain is certain to be a transparent success, and the future is no longer so hard to swallow.