Selfridges has invited the British Plastics Federation (BPF) to speak at its event on marine pollution after the organisation condemned the retailer’s ban on PET water bottles.
BPF director general Philip Law will speak at the Project Ocean 2015 event being held on Thursday at Selfridges in Oxford Street, central London.
Selfridges has rid its stores of single-use PET water bottles and is instead encouraging customers to rely on reusable containers. It has opened a water fountain in its London store’s food hall. The retailer used to sell around 400,000 bottles of water each year.
But the BPF condemned the ban as “misguided” and argued that it would not tackle marine litter.
Law 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 on to our streets or into our oceans.”
He argued that more needed to be done to increase recycling rates and discourage littering, adding: “The only way we can truly tackle littering is not by indiscriminately banning products but through ongoing behavioural change programmes.”
Selfridges made the decision to eliminate single-use plastic bottles from its stores as part of campaign to raise awareness about marine pollution. The initiative is part of a partnership with the Zoological Society of London and the Marine Reserves Council.