New drinking water fountains could soon be available in Plymouth, as part of the city’s ongoing work to tackle plastic pollution and reduce single use plastics.
Plymouth City Council is working with South West Water to review how tap water refill points could be made more freely available in public places, and the plan is to have three in place before the summer begins, with the locations to be determined. A fourth drinking water fountain will also be installed as part of the Central Park improvement works at its new café.
The project forms part of the Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City Plan for Plastics, a city partnership led by the Plastics Taskforce, which aims to reduce single use plastics and tackle plastic pollution. As a result of the collaborative working the city has already achieved Plastic Free Waterfront status with global charity Surfers Against Sewage and now partners are working towards Plastic Free City status.
It is estimated that approximately 10-billion plastic bottles are discarded in the UK every year, and very often find their way into the ocean, causing harm to marine life.
Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Scene for Plymouth City Council, said: “This is the latest initiative in Plymouth’s bid to tackle plastic pollution, along with encouraging people to buy reusable cups, promoting beach cleans and litter picks, and promoting recycling of plastics. We have already voted to ban single use plastic from Council venues and events. To reduce plastic use further we are working with South West Water with the aim of introducing a network of drinking water fountains.
“We want to make it even easier for people to refill reusable water bottles avoiding the need to buy bottled water whilst still benefitting from being well hydrated.
“Over the next few months work will take place to finalise the exact locations of and drinking water refill stations, with a view to them being installed in the summer. If the pilot sites prove successful, we will investigate options to install more drinking water fountains across the city.”
Dr Stephen Bird, Managing Director of South West Water, added: As a co-founder of the ReFill campaign, we’re pleased to be working with the Council to explore ways to combat the scourge of plastic pollution and help to keep residents and visitors healthy and hydrated when they are out and about.”
There are four main principles in the Plan For Plastics, which are:
Avoid – encouraging residents to avoid single use plastics, and to find alternatives such as reusable coffee cups
Recycle – continue to work to increase recycling rates in Plymouth
Innovate – support academic and industry led research into plastic free alternatives.
Connect – developing an education programme to encourage people to visit and connect with the natural environment.
About Plymouth Britain’s Ocean City Taskforce
The Britain’s Ocean City Taskforce has been created to drive the delivery of the new Plan for Plastics. The collaboration of partners and organisations, includes Plymouth City Council, Environment Plymouth, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Marine Biological Association, University of Plymouth, Redrok, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Babcock, Plymouth Community Homes, the Environment Agency and South West Water.
For details on the ReFill campaign visit refill.org.uk