Joanna Lumley issues rallying call to the nation to ditch wasteful bottled water in favour for tap

80% of Brits demand new laws be introduced to tackle the plastic problem, finds new research by BRITA and YouGov.

Despite the popularity of the BBC’s recent War on Waste series, a quarter of Brits (23%) have no plans to reduce how much single-use plastic they buy, research reveals in a new campaign aimed at putting a stop to Brits’ shocking levels of bottled water consumption. 

BRITA ambassadors Joanna Lumley and Gethin Jones are heading up the new initiative, ‘Just Tap. Filtered’, working with BRITA in a bid to convince the British public to ditch bottled water for good and opt for filtered tap water instead.  

We’re a nation of taste snobs with 39% of consumers buying bottled water because ‘it tastes better than tap’ and a third (32%) wanting to avoid limescale and ‘nasties’. Yet a fifth (18%) of the population haven’t even tried the more eco and purse-friendly alternative, filtered tap water.

When asked why they weren’t reducing their SUP habits further, a surprising one in 10 (9%) said they did not care enough about the environment to change their shopping habits, and more than half blamed a lack of SUP alternatives. Promisingly, nearly half (45%) of Brits want single-use plastic water bottles banned entirely, and 80% of the population are demanding that the government take action by introducing new laws to tackle the problem and place a ban on SUP.  

The top 10 single-use plastics that Brits think should be banned in the UK were as follows:

1.   Plastic packaging from online shopping deliveries (56%)

2.   Plastic water bottles (45%)

3.   Food on the go packaging (45%)

4.   Takeaway food boxes and tubs (42%)

5.   Disposable wipes (40%)

6.   Soft drinks bottles (39%)

7.   Plastic makeup packaging such as mascara (35%)

8.   Plastic toiletries packaging such as shampoo bottles (32%)

9.   Balloons (32%)

10. Frozen food in plastic such as ice cream tubs (29%)


When asked who should take responsibility for cutting down the UK’s plastic problem, a third cited manufacturers (35%) and a fifth said the government (21%). However, respondents were united in the view that public services including hospitals and schools should not be accountable in driving change.

Joanna Lumley is calling on the public to pledge to open their eyes to this needless waste of money and plastic, and shed single-use plastic bottles from their lives entirely. 

Lumley said, “There is no reason people should be needlessly spending their cash on bottled water, when by simply adding a BRITA filter they could be opting for great-tasting, healthy tap water instead. I want to urge everyone to do their bit to make small changes that make a big difference.  Not only will it reap huge benefits for the planet, but it will cost a lot less too.”

Rebecca Widdowson, marketing director for BRITA UK commented, ‘Single-use plastic bottled water has widely been reported as one of the biggest contributors to landfill and ocean waste, and consumers believe they should be offered more alternatives. Using a BRITA filter will reduce the taste impairing impurities found in tap water meaning you can get great tasting water, with all the natural benefits it brings, straight from the tap.

Gethin Jones will be touring the country to transform streets – encouraging residents to swap out their SUP habits in favour of BRITA filtered tap water. 

Jones said, “I’m looking forward to showing people the difference that this small swap can make because even one person changing a habit will have a big environmental impact long-term.”

Kate Shaw
Article by Kate Shaw
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