Pret trials in-store filtered water refills to phase out plastic bottles

Signal of change / Pret trials in-store filtered water refills to phase out plastic bottles

By Fiona Dowson / 24 Oct 2017

Pret is offering filtered water in an in-store trial. It might not seem like a big thing until you remember that Pret makes money mainly from selling bottled water. What the press release doesn't mention is the difficult "business case" discussions they no doubt had before this got a green light. Will any lost sales be outweighed by additional footfall, sales of other items, improved reputation and customer loyalty, and good PR? Or is the reputational risk to brands of selling disposable plastics becoming a more weighty concern?

So what?

Sustainability people in other beverage and food service companies have told me moving from plastic bottles to filtered water lands in their "too difficult pile", as they can't see how to convince commercial colleagues that potential lost sales are worth the risk. So it's great to see Pret willing to experiment. Hopefully they'll find that doing the right thing to cut plastic use can work for their business.

To mainstream product re-use models (such as increasing use of re-usable drinks containers) more businesses need to join Pret in trials, to find out what will work for them.


Fiona Dowson on Twitter

Great to see @Pret (who sell bottle water) experiment with water refills. More biz need to explore re-use models #signalofchange


Fiona Dowson on Twitter

Coke also doing soft drink refill experiments using smart dispensers & RFID bottles! #signalofchange via @edie



This signal was also spotted by Samuel Smith:


Samuel Smith on Twitter

Many high street retailers incl @Pret moving towards phasing out plastic bottles #signalofchange @FuturesCentre

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What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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