Manchester University NHS reduces single-use plastic use

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) has launched an initiative aimed at curbing the use of bottled water within its facilities.  

In collaboration with Honest, the designer of the UK’s “first reusable bottle made from locally-sourced single-use bottles”, and Sodexo, a food and facilities management services company, MFT has introduced hydration stations at two locations, offering free water refills for visitors and staff who bring their own reusable drinks containers. 

Damian Sleep, business director at Sodexo, said: “We are committed to doing all we can to reduce the use of single-use plastics and this new initiative will help encourage visitors and staff to move away from buying single-use bottled water to reduce the amount of plastic in circulation.  

“This will only be successful if we make it easy to refill bottles and create long-term behavioural change by increasing the uptake of reusables so that we can then eliminate the sale of single-use plastic water bottles.  This change represents a pioneering move on a site that typically has around 15,000 people on it daily.” 

The hydration stations, located in the main atriums of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital, dispense free tap water, while offering upgrades to triple-filtered super chilled or carbonated water for a small fee. Additionally, customers have the option to purchase an Honest bottle. 


Georgia Bell, Honest sales and marketing manager, said: “Each 500ml water refill eradicates, on average, 12g of single-use plastic. During the six months that the hydration stations have been in use almost 50kg of plastic waste has been avoided. Considering that more than 2.5 billion units of bottled water1 are sold through UK retail outlets each year, there is an opportunity to eradicate 34,000 tonnes of single-use plastic, providing that water refill stations are in greater abundance than they are today. This is one small step that will facilitate this change.” 

 The project is funded directly from sales of the Honest Bottle as part of The Honest Project, which aims to provide publicly accessible drinking water in the UK.

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