UCL Department of Economics


Water Refill Drive

We are working towards being single-use plastic water bottle free for London, the Thames, the ocean and our planet.


UCL Department of Economics
Part of London’s Refill Revolution


It is estimated that, by 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish in the sea.


UCL Department of Economics' #OneLess pledge is to issue every new student who joins the department with a reusable water bottle so that they can refill at the department, at UCL and other points across London.

In London, clean drinking-water is available out of the tap. And there are drinking-water taps located in Drayton House.

UCL Water Fountains


Plastic is a valuable and useful product and there are times when bottled water, in plastic packaging, readily available to purchase, has a place. Yet huge amounts of plastic, including single-use bottles are thrown into landfill or our oceans each year. Only about 15% of disposed plastics are actually recycled and reused.

Typically, plastics take up to 500 years to decompose fully and plastic litter, along with nurdles, harms our beaches, the ocean floor, poisons aquatic life, contaminates ground water and gets into our food chain.

Startling evidence of plastic pollution can be seen on Henderson Island and in the gyres such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Recently the Thames 21 waterways group revealed that single-use, plastics make up the majority of all litter found in the Thames.

Plastic bottles may also have a larger than desirable environmental footprint as they take varying, amounts of oil, water and energy to manufacture and could have travelled thousands of miles to get to the vendor.

We can all make a big difference by, routinely, choosing not to purchase single-use plastic bottles.











Ways to make an impact include:

  • Reducing consumption by reusing your water bottle where possible to refill;
  • Recycling your used, plastic bottles via any of the UCL recycling bins;
  • Valuing natural resources and rethinking the ‘Plastic Economy’;
  • Researching facts and not encouraging fiction or myth regarding manufacturing, pollutants and technologies;
  • Choosing carefully when and where plastic use is desirable.

Please enjoy reusing your bottle, and refill wherever possible!