BMA: water label could help reduce ‘water poverty’

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) has said the unified water label could help prevent the poorest consumers having to ration basic human needs, like washing, or worrying about falling behind on their water bills.

Earlier this week, the campaigning charity, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, released damning statistics about the state of poverty in Britain in 2018, revealing that the most common type of debt for low-income families was arrears on their water bills – higher than council tax and rent.

The BBC reported the story of a 51-year-old Yorkshire mother who said that she is so worried about the cost of water, which has gone up from £21 to £31 a month, that she limits washing and even flushing the toilet.

The Energy Saving Trust has estimated that we currently use 840 billion litres of water each year showering in the UK and flush more than 740bn litres down the WC. This equates to enough water to fill 300,000 Olympic swimming pools.

Yvonne Orgill, BMA chief executive, said that urgent change was needed as the amount of water we use in the bathroom is quickly becoming a “burning issue”.

“Water is our most precious commodity, one that everyone should have access to,” she said, suggesting that the Water Label was a good place to start to educate consumers on water and energy usage in their bathroom.

Yvonne Orgill
Yvonne Orgill

“The label provides valuable information on water and energy usage in a very simple and easy to understand format,” Orgill added.

“We do have support from manufacturers, retailers and merchants that recognise the benefits, but we need more awareness and education, so that it becomes standard practice to look for the water label, and ask for it when it is not used.”

She added: “While it is a voluntary scheme there are currently 12,500 products and 147 brands already using it. We have the opportunity to drive forward real change.”

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