A healthy way to tackle plastic waste

New drinking water fountains and bottle filling points are being installed in the city ready for the summer season.

The council is working with Southern Water to install six units in busy parts of the city centre, including travel hubs and exercise routes, in a bid to cut down on plastic bottle use and reduce litter.

Reducing plastic waste

As a nation, we use more than 7 billion plastic water bottles a year creating a mountain of plastic waste. 

Plastic production and burning plastic that’s been thrown away, pumps greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.

Plastic bottles also end up in our countryside and sea, choking wildlife and taking hundreds of years to break down.

Fill your bottle for free 

Providing free drinking water refill stations in busy areas of the city, will reduce the need to buy plastic bottles.

The units also include water fountains so there’s no need to use a bottle if you’re on the go!

The first two filling stations have been unveiled this week at Hove Lawns and Hove Lagoon skate park and are already being well used.

The others, at Churchill Square, on the plaza at the entrance to the Palace Pier, in front of Hove Town Hall and and outside Brighton Station, will be switched on later this month.

If successful, more fountains could be installed in other parts of the city.

Staying safe

Installing water fillers has been a priority for the council for some time, and the six were due to be installed in 2020, but plans were put on hold due to the increase in COVID -19 infections.

However, now that restrictions have been lifted and there is much more known about the transmission of the coronavirus, the council and public health teams are confident that the water stations can be safely installed, and any health risks minimised with regular cleaning and maintenance.

This will include:

  • Daily cleaning and sterilising
  • Regular water testing
  • Twice yearly inspection, internal sterilisation and maintenance
  • Daily reporting of damage
  • Locating the units in shady areas, away from potential contamination such as overhanging trees.

The fillers also operate with a hands-free, push activation system, which allows bottles to be filled by pressing down onto a platform to avoid the bottleneck touching the fill spout.

If needed, the water fountain can be modified to be used for bottle filling only.

Incredibly handy

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty, one of the first to try the new water fillers, said:

“I've been pressing for new water fountains in Brighton & Hove since my time in opposition, so as leader of the council, I'm pleased that we are now able to open brand new drinking water fountains in the city.

“The fountains will be incredibly handy for residents and visitors alike on our seafront and in the city centre who will be able to conveniently refill their flasks or bottles, removing the need for them to buy bottle after bottle of water. 

“This is an important part of tackling the scourge of plastic waste and playing our part for the environment.

"As a seaside city, we bear a special responsibility to protect our precious marine environment, especially as it’s estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the sea from land each year.

“With covid restrictions now lifted, we are pleased to be able to install these fantastic, safe new water filling units and fountains. The public health benefits of water are widely acknowledged and it’s brilliant that we are able to make fresh, free, clean drinking water readily available to our residents.

“Using a refillable water bottle is one small but important action everyone can take to reduce plastic waste and help reduce our impact on the planet. 

"The pandemic has sadly seen a huge rise in the use of singe use plastics, but I really hope the new fountains will help all of us redouble our efforts to reduce and prevent waste."

Related news