24 September 2010
Environmentally-friendly people in Paris can now drink free fizzy water from a new public fountain. France is trying to reduce the use of plastic bottles because these require a lot of oil to manufacture and produce thousands of tonnes of waste.
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The Jardin de Reuilly Park, east of Paris, has the first fountain of its kind in France - called La Petillante - thanks to the publicly-owned water company Eau de Paris.
The fountain offers ordinary tap water, chilled to seven centigrade, and infused with carbon dioxide to give it bubbles. The supply is unlimited and there are separate taps for still, refrigerated or unrefrigerated.
The water company says it wants to show that the French love of bottled water - on average the French drink around 130 litres a year - does not need to involve large amounts of oil and packaging.
The service gets the thumbs-up from this local who says it will be a bonus during the heatwaves.
If the fountain in the Jardin de Reuilly is a success, the idea is to open more in other public spaces. The water company says Parisians no longer need to buy bottled water, though it's as yet unclear, when it comes to home consumption, whether the park will be preferable to the supermarket.
Sean Fanning, BBC News, Paris
Click to hear the vocabulary
device that pumps water up into the air; often used as something nice to look at in a park
- of its kind
of this type; like this
something managed on behalf of citizens
celsius; a scale of temperature
- infused with
as much as you want; endless
chilled; kept cold
materials used to wrap something
a better option