Sesto Calende, Varese, Italy.
Not everyone is comfortable drinking the tap water in this small town near the southern end of Lake Maggiore. So sales of bottled water abound. That’s good for the producers and the retailers. It’s not so good for the people who have to pay for it. And, as Trump would say, it’s Very Bad (and then we’d part company) for the environment because of the need to produce and then dispose of the plastic bottles (think marine pollution and fish deaths for starters) not to mention the emerging if contested evidence that the chemical Bisphenol-A can leach from the plastic container into its contents and so into your body.
In Sesto Calende (and doubtless elsewhere) there’s an alternative that is both green and communal. In the car park opposite the historic San Donato church stands a bottle-filling machine. For 2 cents (in UK money that’s about 2p and rising, depending on Mrs May’s latest ramblings) you can fill your own one-litre glass bottle with still or sparkling water. And you can do it as many times you like for 2 cents a time. Or buy a season ticket.
Compare this with the fact that you’ll pay 10 times the price for bottled water in a large supermarket and even more in smaller shops.
So, here we have a 24/7 public service which reduces health risks, cuts plastic pollution, saves users money and – even allowing for the fact that people drive to get there – is environmentally positive. What’s not to like?