The second event of the week to mark World Water Day on 22 March was to open a new water bottle re-fill fountain outside St Mary Le Bow Church in Cheapside. This initiative to enable consumers to re-fill their water containers rather than buy a single use plastic bottle is a central element of the Plastic Free City campaign being run by the City of London Corporation. As the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators are playing a key role in this, it was a great honour to be invited to assist in the opening of the fountain along with the Lady Mayoress.
Situated as it is right next to the world-famous church of St Mary Le Bow (see picture), the water fountain has just been installed by the Corporation and is the eighth such fountain in the Square Mile. A group of invited guests including the Fleet Warden and the PR Manager, both of the Water Conservators together with the Alderman for Cheap and others from the Corporation and the Cheapside Business Alliance gathered around the fountain to await the arrival of the Lady Mayoress. We were thrilled to be joined by a dozen or so children from the Hugh Myddelton School armed with model albatrosses which they had made from recycled materials. Very talented and right on message.
I opened the ceremony by giving a brief speech about the need to reduce single use plastic and the damage it can do to our rivers and oceans. I encouraged everyone to make but a small change to their behaviour such that fountains like these could replace the tide of plastic bottles sold every day to slake the thirst of Londoners. And it’s free!
In opening the fountain, the Lady Mayoress (see picture) thanked the children for coming along and challenged them to maintain this change in buying habits and move away from plastic. She got a very good response! She then took the first drink from the fountain using a water bottle supplied by the Cheapside Business Alliance.
We then adjourned for a light lunch courtesy of Standard Aberdeen in their adjacent offices. This gave us a chance to chat to the school children to find out more about their Eco-council and the work they are doing; very inspiring stuff. We were also able to talk to members of the Corporation who are very committed to Plastic Free City and have plenty more ideas in the pipeline (no pun!). The Water Conservators are helping them every step along the way.
So, thank you to everyone who made this all possible and in particular to Claire Dumontier-Marriage from the Business Alliance for all her input and commitment. Keep up the good work!
Picture show the Lady Mayoress and the Master using the fountain under the close supervision of children from the Hugh Myddelton School.