UPDATED — Selfridges, the United Kingdom-based upmarket department store, has announced it will no longer sell single serve plastic bottled water as part of what it said was a drive to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the world's oceans.
The retailer said that as part of the Project Ocean 2015 program it would remove all single-use plastic water bottles from its foodhalls and restaurants, amounting to approximately 400,000 bottles a year.
In a statement, Selfridges said that in the next decade “our oceans could hold 1 kilogram of plastic for every 3 kilograms of fish. In its fifth year, Project Ocean 2015 sets out to raise awareness of the harm plastic causes to our oceans.”
It said it would sell water in glass and what it called "reusable vessels," and that customers could obtain water refills at specially-made Water Bars in its stores.
“Currently 13 billion plastic water bottles are used in the U.K. each year but only 23 percent are recycled,” it said.
“The remaining 10 billion bottles go to landfill or find their way to the ocean, where they release toxic chemicals.
“We've permanently removed all single-use water bottles from our stores in favor of our new glass bottled water range and reusable water vessels,” it added.
The British Plastics Federation (BPF) meanwhile expressed its "dismay" at Selfridges' move.
Philip Law, the BPF's director general said: "The availability of water in portable, lightweight bottles promotes good health and can be critical in emergency situations. Plastic products do not litter themselves onto our streets or into our oceans, people do.
"During 2014, nearly 60 percent of PET plastic bottles in the household waste stream were collected for recycling.
"We all need to ensure that recycling rates continue to grow and we urge people to recycle their plastic bottles and not discard them as litter.
Law said the only way to tackle littering was not by indiscriminately banning products "but through ongoing behavioral change programs."