“Water without packaging”: a glass of tap water with the coffee is a matter of hospitality in Europe
Sofiyska Voda gives a sticker to the restaurants that offer tap water
With the onset of hot days, Sofiyska Voda, operated by Veolia, starts an initiative for water without packaging in the capital's restaurants. The aim is to encourage restaurants, but also their customers, to offer and order, respectively, tap water, as is the practice in many European capitals and cities.
Drinking water in Sofia ranks among the top in Europe in terms of quality. It has a neutral pH, around 7.2, due to its high-mountain origin, mainly from snowmelt. The water is soft and without a characteristic taste and smell, completely suitable for daily use by people of all ages. With these characteristics, potable water in Sofia is considered the most suitable for intercellular exchange in the human body i.e. for the exchange processes in it.
Despite the control over the tap water in Sofia and its indisputable properties, the opinion that potable water is not good for use or that restaurants are not a suitable place to order tap water exists. With the Water Without Packaging campaign, Sofiyska Voda tries to increase awareness about the water quality in Sofia, and also to encourage limiting the use of plastics.
To facilitate both clients and restaurants, Sofiyska Voda elaborated a sticker that can be placed in a spot chosen by the restaurant. It means that tap water is being offered in that place. The actual sticker carries official information about the water quality. Thus, the capital's WSS operator hopes that over time, customers will be more confident in ordering tap water at the restaurants marked with the sticker, and these restaurants will become more and more.
Wishing to make water accessible everywhere, Sofiyska Voda, operated by Veolia, saw partners and like-minded people in Stolicha H20, on whose digital map (https://stolichnah2o.com) we can locate which restaurants in Sofia offer tap water. We found a supporter of our idea about reducing tons of waste plastics also in Simona Stilyanova – founder of the Zero Waste Sofia blog.
The objective of the initiative is to remind all residents and guests of Sofia to be well-hydrated during the summer; to increase trust in tap water; to destroy the myth that tap water is a choice only of the insolvent customers and last, but not least – to limit at least a little the daily use of plastics and at the same time not to interfere in any way in the commercial practices of the restaurants.
Drinking water in Sofia comes from the Rila Mountain - the Iskar and Beli Iskar dams. In 2021 alone, the laboratory of Sofiyska Voda took over 9,000 samples along the whole route to the end customer, on which it performed over 150,000 analyses. The annual results show that the water of Sofia fully meets and even exceeds the state regulatory requirements for drinking water quality.