Tom Reynolds – We all have a role to play in reducing water usage

InsightFeatures Fri 7th Oct 2022 by KBBFocus

Tom Reynolds – We all have a role to play in reducing water usage

Tom Reynolds – We all have a role to play in reducing water usage

Following the release of Defra's mandatory water efficiency label consultation, a collaborative effort is needed to reduce water consumption, says BMA chief executive Tom Reynolds.

Water scarcity in the UK is a pressing issue, with the bathroom sector having a vested interest in addressing the challenge. Our bathroom products rely on a secure water supply to maintain performance and satisfaction. Manufacturers are keenly aware that reducing domestic water consumption will be one of the critical paths to addressing water scarcity.

Following the release of Defra’s consultation on a UK-wide mandatory water efficiency label for products such as taps, toilets, urinals etc, the BMA has been studying the proposals in detail. While there are some areas for clarification, we would support the introduction of a label that provides consumers with greater choice to underpin water reduction measures.

Under the current proposals, the water label would be similar in design to the current energy efficiency label and show the water flow rate or consumption per cycle. 

Manufacturers and suppliers will first need to assess the water efficiency rating of their products and include the label with the product and in marketing literature. However, another crucial element in the proposals is that retailers and merchants must make the label visible to the customer, including on showroom room sets, in-store or via the internet and catalogues. This obligation is significant as failure to display the label could result in action from a national enforcement authority.

All in the bathroom sector have a role to play in informing consumers of the many innovative products on the market, from cold start taps, recirculating showers, heat recovery showers, ‘bubble showers’ and forced-air toilets etc. These innovations not only offer uncompromised functionality, but also meet the desires of ‘green’ choices to reduce our water consumption.

I believe that retailers will play a critical part in informing customers of the products on offer, and many will already have interacted with the current voluntary Unified Water Label (UWL). This scheme is the leading labelling scheme across the UK and Europe, run independently by the Unified Water Label Association (UWLA). It shows the commitment that already exists within the sector to reduce water use wherever possible.

Functional, beautiful designs and reducing water use in the bathroom are all a reality. However, action is also necessary on supply leakage, infrastructure, and greater awareness of our water scarcity challenge. Labelling will help inform consumers at the purchase stage, but they must want to make sustainable choices and adapt their behaviours in the use stage.

Collaboration from all in the supply chain, including that of the Government and the water companies, will be critical to achieving any reduction in our water consumption.

Tags: insight, features, tom reynolds, bma, mandatory water efficiency label

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