The average Londoner consumes 175 bottles a year (1.5bn bottles in total!) – venue 15Hatfields want to do something about it 

Walk into 15Hatfields in South Bank with an empty water bottle, and you’ll leave with it full – for free. This is because the sustainably minded venue has become one of London’s first official ‘refill stations’. It’s all part of the new Refill London scheme, which launched at the end of February this year.

Along with other members of the South Bank Venues group, 15 Hatfields decided to take action and become one of the first venues in London to provide the service.

‘As a group, we were seeing that single-use plastic was becoming a huge issue,’ GM Warren Campbell told us. The group’s catering, venue and supplier members all came together to come up with a plan to combat the problem and eventually got the backing of the Mayor to make South Bank a pilot area for the initiative. Since then, the scheme has started to be rolled out in four other areas of London and now has 700 businesses signed up to participate.

What started as a public initiative is now infiltrating the events industry, with more event venues engaging with the scheme and existing campaigners (London Zoo has its own One Less initiative) joining. 

15Hatfields are not stopping at water though: to celebrate its 10th birthday, it’s ensuring that all its food coverings, napkin wrappers and teabags will be plastic-free too. ‘By demanding the eradication of single-use plastic from suppliers, they will have to make changes in order to maintain business,’ suggests Campbell. ‘Big events in London should also be questioned on their recycling methods, and large exhibition centres should be made to invest in water fountains.’

We’re certainly behind it, and we’ll be doing some more digging in the coming weeks to see what other venues and event suppliers are doing to reduce the industry’s plastic footprint. Keep your eyes peeled.

More venues and suppliers supporting the scheme can be found on the Refill London app. Among them are: London Zoo, Eden Catering, Twickenham Stadium, BFI IMAX and Tate Modern