Pret a Manger just took a step to curb plastic pollution by offering customers free filtered water and reusable glass bottles for sale, if they don’t have their own.The new move is part of the effort to reduce plastic waste, a big part of which is single-use plastic bottles.

The restaurant has installed water taps in Veggie Pret locations in London.  So far, the stores are still selling beverages in plastic bottles, but the trial aims to show whether providing people with an easy refill option would encourage them to turn away from the polluting single-use plastics.

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Pret is planning to expand the project later in October and introduce the system in its Manchester branches.

“Plastic bottles present a real challenge and there are two schools of thought within Pret,” Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret a Manger, wrote in a blog post prior to the launch of the initiative. “The passionate environmentalists say stop selling them altogether, while the pragmatists say make it as easy as you can for customers to use fewer plastic bottles. We are looking carefully at both options.”

“We’ve been really surprised and encouraged by the hugely positive response on social media – we’ve even sold quite a few glass bottles already,” said Caroline Cromar, the brand director of Pret, as reported by The Guardian. “We’ll be listening carefully to feedback from our customers and shop teams before we decide on the next stage.”

The chain’s move is the latest of the kind among businesses and charities in the country. A number of outlets, from the pub chain Wetherspoons to other local eateries, have introduced initiatives to reduce plastic waste, helping to raise awareness for the serious threat it poses to marine animals and people too.

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Every year, we produce around 300 million tons of plastic globally and about 8.8 million tons of it end up in the oceans, threatening and killing marine animals, polluting waterways, and traveling back to its originators – even through tap water. It is up to every single one of us to make an effort to curb our plastic use to help mitigate this important issue. To learn how to minimize your plastic footprint, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

Image source: pretamangeruk/Instagram