Bottled water to be phased out for government departments

The use of bottled water for meetings and other official business is to be phased out across government departments.

Cabinet secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell has written to the head of every department suggesting they should replace bottled water with tap water for all meetings in future.

A number of departments have already stopped using bottled water for official meetings, but the proposal is to extend the ‘tap water only policy’ throughout the Civil Service.

The new policy is expected to come into effect by the summer.

O’Donnell said: “The government is committed to sustainable operations across its estate, and I have made this issue one of my key priorities for the Civil Service. Today’s announcement is a small part of a much bigger programme of action in this area.”

The government said tap water required about 300 times less energy than bottled water (for packaging and transport), and does not leave bottles to be disposed of.

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