A report by the Association of Convenience Stores has shown more than half of independent retailers have installed water refill stations.
Figures from the latest ACS Voice of Local Shops survey show that 51% of the 1,200 independent retailers surveyed provide water dispensers.
The news comes after Greenpeace and the Environmental Investigation Agency this week published a report highlighting UK supermarkets sold more than one million bottles of water in 2018.
The report calls for retailers to install water dispensers for customers in store and to encourage brands to offer soft drinks from refill stations so customers can refill their own bottles.
ACS has recently published guidance setting out the different ways retailers can provide a water refill service in store, as well as highlighting some of the operational challenges of offering the service.
“We are pleased to see convenience stores taking strides to reduce plastic waste by providing a water refill facility for customers,” said ACS CEO James Lowman. “This is one of several ways that local shops are providing essential services for customers and promoting environmental responsibility. We’ve seen huge progress by convenience stores in cutting the use of plastics by voluntarily charging for carrier bags. We hope the next government will finally introduce compulsory charging for all retailers.”