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Horniman Café ‘cans’ bottled water in latest move to ditch single-use plastics

The Café at the Horniman is no longer stocking bottled water, instead offering visitors a choice of tap water refills or canned spring water.

The move away from bottled water – which came into effect on 1 April – is part of the south London attraction’s commitment to reduce single-use plastics, aiming in time to ditch them altogether from its site.

The Horniman has already:

  • replaced single-use takeaway plastics in the Café with Vegware products made from plants, including disposable coffee cups and straws
  • introduced a plastic bag charge in its gift shop, with proceeds supporting its pioneering Project Coral conservation research
  • installed a new water bottle refill point in the Gardens, one of more than 20 across London provided by the London Drinking Fountain Fund, which is led by #OneLess and the Mayor of London
  • joined the #OneLess campaign, a rapidly growing movement of pioneering and progressive communities, business, and NGOs working to change the way people drink water in London and reduce the number of single-use plastic water bottles entering the ocean from London.


The Horniman Café’s pre-packaged spring water will be supplied by CanO Water, using aluminium cans. Although still a single-use product, aluminium cans are a more sustainable choice than plastic bottles as they are more commonly recycled by consumers, and are infinitely recyclable. Stocking canned water in the Horniman Café will mean 24,000 single-use plastic bottles per year are no longer being thrown away or recycled.

Brad Owen, Head of Commercial at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, says:

Ditching plastic water bottles is a major step towards ridding the Horniman of single-use plastics but it’s by no means the end of the process. We’re currently looking at alternative bags for the shop, and developing our own-brand reusable bottles and coffee cups to offer our visitors even more and even greener options.

The Horniman’s commitment to combating plastic waste and raising awareness of the damage it does to the natural world will also be seen by visitors in numerous events and exhibitions this year, starting in May with a series of commissioned works by visual artist Claire Morgan, drawing on the theme of waste and the impact that humans have on their surroundings.

The Horniman Café Ltd. is owned and run by Anthony Ienco on behalf of Horniman Museum Enterprises.

Visitors can find out more about how to be green during their time at the Horniman on the website.