H2O Hydration Station, a water and juice refill dispenser, designed and built in Britain by Westomatic, which eradicates the need for single-use plastic bottles or cups, has been launched this week and is soon to be installed in schools, colleges, leisure centres and offices throughout the UK and abroad.
The proliferation of plastic products over the last few decades has seen a massive increase in the amount of single-use plastic sent to landfill or littered around the British countryside and coastline. A report produced by charity Keep Britain Tidy recently found that 75% of all litter in Britain was the result of ‘drinking on the go’. The report, commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), highlighted how small plastic bottles alone account for almost 25% of litter.
‘The vast majority of these bottles are not recycled’, Westomatic Marketing Manager, Michael Hoban said. ‘In fact, according to National Geographic, a whopping 79% of them are discarded in landfills or the natural environment and 12% are incinerated.’
Westomatic’s H2O Hydration Station has been specifically designed with the environment in mind. The water and juice dispenser does not provide single-use plastic bottles or cups. Instead, customers using the H2O Hydration Station at school, work, or at the gym are required to use their own refillable bottle.
The machine also uses a flash chiller to instantly cool water as it is dispensed – a much more energy-efficient way to reach optimum temperature, as the cooler only kicks into action when a drink is dispensed.
‘Whether or not you agree with their tactics, I think environmental groups and public figures like Greta Thunberg have really brought the environment and climate change to the forefront of people’s minds over the last 12 months, which has been a big step in the right direction’, Michael said. ‘Both the British people and politicians recognise that, as a society, we can’t carry on producing and consuming single-use plastics the way we are at the moment. The overwhelming majority ends up incinerated, in landfills or, worse still, littering our oceans and natural habitats. It has to change. As a business and as an industry, we need to become part of the solution to plastic pollution.’
Although the H2O Hydration Station was ready for release at the end of March, the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to final tests and tweaks prior to full production. This, however, enabled the engineering team at Westomatic to make some improvements to the dispenser’s design to address our ‘new normal’.
The dispenser now comes complete with Hover Select technology. The no-touch technology means the buttons on the H2O Hydration Station buttons don’t need to be physically touched to select a water or juice drink refill, greatly reducing the risk of transmitting coronavirus.
Lead Mechanical Design Engineer at Westomatic, Jonathon Coates, said: ‘Almost all of the water we drink today has microplastics in it, so we developed the H2O Hydration Station with three filters – a dual FLUUX filtration system paired with a UV filter. Together, they eliminate bacteria and remove 99.9% of microplastics. The result is just about the purest water you can possibly drink.’
More news from Westomatic on Planet Vending is HERE