With schools now closed for summer vacation, you’d think we’d be afforded a business breather, too.
Actually, it’s quite the reverse. September is traditionally our busiest month for school water bottle deliveries. However, many schools place their bottle orders in July for the new term, with instructions for delivery upon reopening.
Which means that we are busy with production planning and delivery scheduling in August to ensure timely deliveries. Obviously we have other orders, too. After a successful pilot, London Underground have ordered customised reusable bottles for all staff to ensure they are properly hydrated and joining the war on single-use bottles.
Nevertheless our core market remains education and schools supply, which has been at the heart of our business since even before our incorporation in 2003.
Two decades of supply gives us a good insight into the way in which a market evolves. So, when we say we are busier than ever this summer, there has to be a reason. We ‘ve concluded it has a lot to do with the acquired learning and growing influence of our young.
To learn you need good teachers of course, at the apex of which we’d have to place Sir David Attenborough, about whom we have written so many times. At 93, you don’t get to headline at Glastonbury (single-use plastic free Glastonbury, too), unless you have millions of converted admirers, all attentive.
And so it was interesting that both recent Government ‘directives’ which have helped energise this latest growth phenomenon, claim much inspiration from the young.
Firstly in December 2018 the Department for Education issued its formal encouragement to schools to go single-use plastic free by 2022. Part of its supportive claim was that young people are more committed than older people to giving up single-use plastics. It cited research showing that 68% of 18- to 24-year-olds own a reusable water bottle, compared with the national average of 55%.
However for reuse to work effectively, every bottle needs a refilling point. In July 2019 a Parliamentary communiqué to all schools expressed “shock” to hear some young people report that they do not have access to free drinking water at school and often have buy a bottle of water.
“Schools” it reminded “ are legally obliged to provide access at all times to free drinking water on the school premises”. “I would urge you” the letter added, “ to consider whether you need to do more to make free water as easily available and as visible as you can. I would also encourage the use of refillable bottles, alongside other steps to reduce single-use plastics”
Hooray to that too, we say. Especially given our pioneering history with Hydrachill and supply of other water refilling units (more on which in our next blog).
So it’s clearly not just Sir David showing the way forward now, its our young people demonstrable enacting on it.. Many of whom of course have been reusable users most of their lives, well taught too by the schools and teachers who made the active decision to source our reusable bottles.
So, teachers and pupils alike, have a great August. We’ll be here when you get back. `In fact, we never went away.