Natural History Museum to axe sale of single-use plastic water bottles

'Millions of single use plastic bottles are purchased every day in the UK alone'

The Museum's director says the decision reflects concerns over ocean plastic pollution
The Museum's director says the decision reflects concerns over ocean plastic pollution

The Natural History Museum will end the sale of single-use plastic water bottles at its sites to help "reduce the deluge of plastic into our seas", it has said.

Facilities at the museum's sites at South Kensington, London, and Tring, Hertfordshire, will be assessed to ensure there are alternatives including water fountains and reusable bottles, as well as looking at ways to encourage visitors to bring their own bottles.

The museum said it had already stopped offering plastic straws to visitors and was looking at other ways to reduce the use of plastic at its sites.

The decision to commit to ending the sale of single use plastic water bottles at the museum's sites reflects concern from many scientists and environmentalists about the growing problem plastics poses in the oceans, the organisation said.

Research by Natural History Museum scientists in collaboration with Royal Holloway University of London has previously revealed the extent of unseen plastic pollution in the Thames and levels of plastics in the stomachs of fish in the river.

Professor Ian Owens, director of science at the Museum, said: "It's vital that scientific institutions like the Museum lead the way in the fight to understand and protect the natural world.

A blue whale skeleton forms the main exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London. The 126-year-old skeleton, named 'Hope', replaces 'Dippy' the Diplodocus dinosaur as the museum's main exhibit

"The scale of ongoing plastic pollution is having a devastating effect on many marine species and the ecosystems that sustain life on Earth.

"Millions of single use plastic bottles are purchased every day in the UK alone, and billions end up in the sea every year.

"The Museum is visited by over 4.5 million people every year and reaches millions more all over the world through our digital channels.

"Our plan to stop selling single use plastic water bottles is about becoming part of the movement towards a refillable culture and doing our part to encourage a mass lifestyle change that will help reduce the deluge of plastic into our seas."

PA

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