How buying water from Co-op helps fund water, sanitation and hygiene programmes in Africa
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A new water pipe being fitted in Zonsezi Village, Malawi // Co-opHave you ever been in a supermarket and felt overwhelmed by how many brands of water there are? It’s supposed to be a simple decision, but instead, you find yourself pondering over which brand is best and then because you're in a rush, you understandably reach for the cheapest one or the brand involved in the meal-deal. What if you knew that at least one of those water bottles standing on the shelf contributed to something greater than just a purse-friendly meal deal? Well, in actual fact, purchasing a Co-op water bottle does make a difference. An alarming 884 million people worldwide are unable to access clean, safe water. Consequently, two million people, most under five years old, die of waterborne diseases every year. Although these upsetting facts may seem out of our reach, especially as students with little money, something as simple as buying a certain water bottle the next time you’re out and thirsty is enough to make a difference - and this is down to the Co-op, the first UK retailer to commit to eliminating water poverty by 2030. This is possible because for every litre of Co-op branded still, sparkling and flavoured water, 3p is donated to water projects across the world. In fact, their own brand water sales will raise £1.3 million this year alone. Still, if having read this you still have the urge to grab your usual brand of choice (we’re students – understandably, the meal deal appeals) then that’s okay; every other branded water that Co-op sells now donates 1p per litre to Water Unite, a Global Investment Fund for Water that aims to end water poverty globally by 2030. Co-op signed up as a pioneer partner to Water Unite in April 2017. “By buying bottled water from a Water Unite partner, around one cent per litre will be invested in safe, sustainable water services for people who need them most,” Water Unite states on its website.
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As well as aiding water poverty, Co-op recently switched their own-brand water to 50% recycled plastic bottles. The supermarket estimates that the change will save almost 350 tons of plastic every year. The organisation also strives to rid its aisles of black and dark coloured plastic by 2020. We'll be supporting them every step of the way.
Students get 10% off at Co-op with a Totum or NUS extra card.
Find out more about Co-op's partnerships and ethical policy on water here.
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