Free refill stations will be set up across Greenwich town centre and through Lewisham High Street in an attempt to cut down on the use of bottled water.

The scheme comes from the London Mayor’s office to try reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles in the capital.

A pilot programme, called Refill London, is being rolled out with the centres of Greenwich and Lewisham two of the first spots where the scheme will be implemented.

Participating shops and businesses, which include cafes like Costa Coffee, will display a “refill” sticker in their windows to let people know they are offering free tap water.

Sadiq Khan said: “A free tap water scheme is long overdue in London and I welcome all of the retailers and business who have shown their strong commitment to reducing unnecessary plastic waste by joining the London Refill scheme.

“We all need to try harder to cut the excessive use of single-use plastic bottles, cups and cutlery that can end up pointlessly overflowing our landfill sites, finding their way into our oceans and harming our environment.

“I hope that even more businesses sign up to the scheme to help Londoners make small but significant steps, like refilling our bottles, to drive down plastic waste.”

The pilot scheme is being run by Thames Water and City to Sea, a campaign group that aims to help stop ocean pollution, and you can find participating locations using the Refill app.

The average London adult buys more than 3 plastic water bottles every week, with some 7.7 billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year, resulting in substantial amounts of single-use plastic waste.

The production of bottled water is around 500 times more carbon intensive than tap water, it also has more stringent quality tests – around half a million a year – than bottled brands.

Thames Water chief executive, Steve Robertson, said: “Nurturing and protecting the environment is a core mission for Thames Water and we are proud of the quality of our tap water.

“By making it even more accessible we can together limit the use of millions of single-use plastic bottles which sadly end up in landfill or in our rivers and oceans.”