The report, that has been published by the London Assembly Environment Committee, recommended:
- More plastic bottles need to be recycled in London. In Germany, where deposit return scheme (DRS) machines are located in places such as supermarkets, 99% of plastic bottles are recycled
- The mayor must address plastic water bottle waste specifically in his upcoming Environment Strategy
- Providing tap water as an alternative is essential
- The mayor should explore the feasibility of a DRS in London, with a view to trialling a nation-wide scheme. According to the London Assembly Environment Committee, a DRS would offer an incentive for Londoners to return plastic bottles by adding a reclaimable amount to the price of bottled drinks.
The mayor is urged to:
- encourage community water refill schemes in which Londoners can fill up water bottles for free at participating venues
- install more water refilling stations across the London transport network
- promote apps to help consumers locate businesses willing to provide free water refills.
Environment Committee chair, Leonie Cooper AM, said: "Plastic waste is out of control in London. It litters our parks, pollutes the Thames, harms marine life, and adds waste to London's landfill sites which may be full by 2025.
"We have to turn the situation around. Firstly, Londoners need an alternative to buying bottles of water - this is a crucial part of the solution. Tap water needs to be more readily available. Secondly, we need to improve our recycling of plastic bottles. Currently, far too many end up in landfill or in the natural environment and London boroughs have some of the worst recycling rates in the whole of the UK," continued Cooper.
"Electors heard Sadiq Khan pledge to be the 'greenest mayor London has ever had'. Now it's time to fulfil that promise by addressing our thirst for plastic bottled water."