In The Drink is a not-for-profit organisation committed to helping bars, events and boat operators located on our London waterways to move towards alternatives to single-use plastic.
We are a partnership of organisations and individuals who care about protecting marine environments, and look towards a brighter more sustainable future, that includes Active360, Thames21, Tideway, Anti-Plastic People and others.
- Ally Bee
- Anti-Plastic People
- Thames Estuary Partnership
We are a group of river users (mostly stand up paddle boarders) and In the Drink grew out of our observation and concerns that plastic pollution is increasing year on year in the waterways around London.
These waterways are a great asset to the city, providing open space, contact with nature, a transport system, a tourist attraction and so much more. Without them London would be a much poorer city – and in fact London owes its very existence to the Thames.
Waterside and floating bars are among London’s most popular and from spring to autumn Londoners and visitors flock to waterside areas to enjoy the fine views and being by the waterfronts.
We observed that plastic pint cups make up a significant part of the plastic floating in the Thames and washed up on its shores. These have been used extensively instead of beer glasses where people drink outside for safety reasons but are also used for convenience.
Litter counts by Thames21 confirmed that the cups are prevalent in the river although the percentage they make up of total plastic pollution is understated in clean up events because they fragment and break down into microplastics quicker than plastic bottles, bags etc.
They are mostly made from clear polystyrene – an insidious form of plastic that most people don’t realise is rarely recycled in the UK. An empty plastic cup placed on a riverside pub bench, riverside wall or deck of a boat can easily be blown into the river on even a mildly windy day.
Eventually these flimsy cups end up as microplastics in the ocean’s growing plastic garbage patch.
We decided that the best way to reduce this form of pollution was to work with bar owners and managers and to help and support them to change in a way which helps their business to thrive and grow without incurring prohibitive costs.
The number of businesses recently announcing their intention to reduce single-use plastic illustrates this is not only good for the environment but also a way to show that they are progressive, caring and responsible. Increasingly, these are becoming valuable attributes which will win them new customers and increase loyalty from existing ones.
In the Drink is a positive and friendly scheme, which gives you information and contacts to make things simple, quick and cost neutral, with the potential to save you money too.
We hope you will join and be early adopters of a revolution in the bar / hospitality industry, which will benefit everyone.