2020 is a leap year, so today we’re gifted with an extra day to do as we wish, including the traditional, and now probably redundant, opportunity for women to turn the tables and propose to men.  

But here at Water Unite we have another proposal in mind. One that retailers around the world are beginning to buy into as they realise that their customers are increasingly driven by social and environmental concerns.  

For every one litre of bottled water sold, 1 cent is donated to Water Unite to invest in innovative, inspiring, entrepreneurial projects focused on tackling water poverty and plastic pollution around the world. As Lord Malcolm Bruce, Chair of Water Unite points out “Just a single day of Water Unite’s micro-levy could make a significant difference millions of lives around the world".

This micro levy is an achievable and understandable way for consumers and retailers to make a real difference to communities and lives. Governments and supra-national organisations such as the UN and Commonwealth are also increasingly favouring sustainable funding and investment models such as this to help meet SDG goals by 2030.

It all adds up

Rarely is the focus of the world drawn to a single day and what it means. Naturally, on leap  day we at Water Unite think of water and plastic pollution. And we’d like you to do the same. This year, the global market for packaged water will be over 500 billion litres.  That’s 1.36 billion litres of water each day, every day. Now, imagine if all bottled water retailers around the world contributed to the micro levy.  

1 cent for 1 litre for just one day would add up to 13.6 million dollars. That could help provide clean water to nearly a million people. Or, it could give nearly 1.4 million people decent sanitation. And, if you think that it costs between $26 and $40 to recycle a tonne of plastic, a single day of the levy could see nearly half a million tonnes of plastic pollution put to better use.

Given the impact just a single day of the micro-levy could have, we’re focusing on two more dates in the calendar for 2020 that will also make a real difference. 

The first is June 25th 2020, when the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda will be hosting a special session dedicated to Water Unite and its potential impact across Commonwealth nations.

The second is a meeting at the UN in New York on 3rd September, just ahead of the UN General Assembly, which will bring together governments, leading global retailers and UN bodies to explore how Water Unite can play a significant role in meeting SDG targets.

Both days will give leaders the opportunity to take the lead in the adoption of a ground-breaking initiative for effecting real change around the world. 

To find out more please call us on +44 203 976 6200 or email unite@waterunite.org