Bristol opened its second free drinking water fountain and bottle filler in the city centre and continues to lead the way in getting people to use reusable water bottles to reduce waste and litter.
A partnership between Eunomia, Bristol Waste, Bristol City Council and Bristol Water, made the new water fountain in Queen Square possible. It was officially opened by Mayor Marvin Rees on Wednesday 26th April 2017. Being launched in time for the summer season, the water fountain is available to picnickers, sports and recreation visitors, and those using the pedestrian and cycle route through the city. Its bespoke design was commissioned to satisfy water regulations and fit in with the historic setting of the public square, originally built in 1727.
As well as bringing a free hydration point to this bustling public square, the water fountain supports the Refill Bristol, a network of free bottle refill points in Bristol’s shops, cafes and businesses set up by campaigners City to Sea in 2015. Refill’s aim is to reduce the number of plastic bottles and bottle tops ending up in the ocean, whilst keeping the public healthy and hydrated.
Ben Newby, Customer Services Director at Bristol Water said:
“We have been supporting City to Sea and the Refill campaign for a couple of years. It is great to see other cities, such as Birmingham and Brighton, starting up similar campaigns but Bristol is leading the way with over 200 refill stations available. It is vitally important that people stay hydrated, especially in the summer months. Only about 4% of the 150 litres of water each person uses every day is for drinking.”
Eunomia offered to pay for the fountain which has been installed next to the consultancy’s the head office in the North-West corner of Queen Square. The consultancy has completed several pieces of research into the sources of marine plastic and the solutions available to tackle the problem and supports local initiatives as well as making policy recommendations via ongoing work with the European Commission and other stakeholders.
Dominic Hogg, Chairman of Eunomia, said:
“There’s growing awareness of the problems created by littering, and especially of plastics. As well as being an eyesore, littered bottles can find their way to our oceans where they slowly degrade, causing problems for wildlife, and also, for us. Drinking water from disposable bottles is also needlessly wasteful. Every time a portable water bottle is refilled, we’re saving enough carbon to charge a mobile phone 5 times over. That’s why we’re using our company offset scheme to fund it.”
Tracey Morgan, Managing Director at Bristol Waste, added:
“We’re really pleased to support the work of partners helping to reduce our dependence on single use plastic. Schemes like Refill Bristol can help transform consumer attitudes. Tap water is cheap, every bit as healthy and doesn’t have the huge negative impacts on our environment that bottled water does.”
If you’re in Bristol and would like to use the new drinking fountain in Queen Square take a reusable water bottle along for drink and if you would like to, take a photo and share the good news on Twitter using the hashtag #QSWaterFountain