Manchester Water Fountains to Cut Down Plastic Pollution

25th March 2019

We have partnered with the award-winning campaign Refill, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), United Utilities and Bury Council to install two new water fountains in Bury, Manchester.

The community fountains have been installed by GMCA as part of a pilot scheme with Refill, the campaign to prevent plastic pollution by connecting people with free tap water.

The head of our Manchester office, Mark Hilton, said:

“We have used our carbon fund to sponsor the two newest additions to Manchester’s network of Refill Stations, and we sincerely hope that, as the number of community water fountains increase, it will become easier for the public to choose a reusable option rather than contributing to plastic pollution with single use plastic.”

“The water fountain we installed by our head office in Bristol’s Queen Square has been heavily used in the two years since its opening. We are proud to be helping GMCA towards their goal of a plastic-free Manchester and we hope to see the new fountains having the same impact as we have seen in Bristol.”

The Manchester water fountains will form part of a larger network being rolled out across the city, coordinated by Refill, United Utilities, Bury Council and GMCA as part of the Mayor’s Plastic Free GM campaign. The two fountains mark the beginning of a growing network of free refilling stations in the north west, from fountains, cafes, restaurants and businesses across the region which can be located by the Refill app and the prominent window stickers.

In support of the initiative, Councillor Alex Ganotis, GMCA Green City Region Lead, said:

“The launch of the Refill pilot in Bury is part of a growing range of initiatives across Greater Manchester to help reduce the amount of single-use plastics we use every day. Schemes like Refill are making a big difference, making it easier for people to use refillable bottles, cutting down the amount of plastic waste that ends up as litter and harms our environment. At this year’s Green Summit, we will be launching our five-year environment plan to set us on the path to carbon neutrality in 2038. A key priority is to eradicate avoidable single-use plastics in Greater Manchester, moving to more sustainable options, promoting re-use first. We look forward to a successful partnership and seeing further Refill Stations and fountains rolled out across our city-region.”

We sponsored a similar venture in 2017, unveiling one of the first community water fountains in Bristol next to our head office. We used our carbon fund – money set aside to offset the carbon emissions we produce though our daily operations – to sponsor green initiatives, most recently planting over 1,000 trees in Avonmouth, Bristol.

Sarah Irving, Refill Regional Coordinator said:

“Refill encourages more people to take one small step away from relying on single use plastic bottles. It’s a really simple concept with a really big potential result and with access to outdoor bottle refilling stations as well as café taps, it has become far easier to Refill on the go.”