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Fill Your Bottle, Not A Landfill!

Maria McLaughlin    Wed 14 Jun 2023

Public encouraged to use their free local water refill station

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful along with the 11 Northern Ireland Councils are supporting World Refill Day on Friday 16th June – a global day of action to prevent plastic pollution and help people live with less waste.

The environmental charity and local councils are asking the public – to refill, reuse and reduce when it comes to single-use plastic bottles and to make use of over 300 refill stations available across Northern Ireland.

Chris Gourley, Waste and Pollution Solutions Strategic Lead, at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful comments, “We want to encourage people here in Northern Ireland to join millions of people around the world to prevent plastic pollution. Friday 16th June is a day to make the change to live more sustainably and become more environmentally aware. Water refill stations are an easy way to start making a difference. Everyone can start right away – all you need is a reusable water bottle, which makes it easier to stay hydrated whilst not having the expense of buying single-use plastic bottled water. It’s a practical, environmentally friendly solution.”

Water-refill stations are available across council facilities, including parks, leisure centres, community centres as well as shops, businesses and the high street, ensuring that members of the public are never far away from access to free water on the go.

Although there are different types of water refill points available across Northern Ireland, all stations are designed to serve the ultimate purpose of helping to reduce plastic pollution and provide the public with free drinking water.

Chris Gourley continues, “The average person in the UK now uses around 150 plastic water bottles a year! Many of these are single-use, which are then discarded and end up polluting our environment or clogging up landfills. So the message is simple refill, reuse and reduce, and get involved in the campaign by:

1. Carrying your own water bottle;

2. Filling up for free; and

3. Spreading the word about refill stations.”

At present, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and councils are working together to recognise the importance of a convenient water refill network and to improve the information available to the public.

So when out and about, look out for refill stations around the country and become familiar with the locations. We can all do our bit for the environment. We urgently need to shift from our disposable, single-use culture to a more sustainable, circular future, with reuse and refill at the centre.

Many councils will be able to signpost you to the refill stations in your area. Contact your local council for more details.