New Drinking Water Fountain Launched at Cranfield Beach
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has launched a new drinking water fountain at Cranfield West Blue Flag Beach, thanks to funding provided by the Sea Changers Bunzl Coastal Fountain Fund.
This fund aims to tackle the increasing problem of discarded plastic bottles along the coastline known as marine litter, which causes environmental issues to both the marine environment and marine species. The fund is sponsored by the specialist international distribution and services group, Bunzl PLC, who support this work as part of its response to the plastic challenge. Sea Changers are a UK wide marine conservation charity.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council former Chairperson, Councillor Michael Rice said, “The installation of the water fountain at Cranfield Beach is the first in a series of water fountains currently being installed across the district. This forms an important part of the Council’s ‘Single Use Plastics’ strategy, which aims to phase out and ban single use plastics within Council offices and service sites. The Council is very grateful to the Sea Changers Charity and Bunzl plc for providing this funding.”
The new drinking water fountains will be recorded on a new app called the ‘Tap Map’ to help residents to find their nearest refill station. The ‘Tap Map’, which is accessible at: https://www.refill.org.uk/get-involved/add-refill-station/, will also highlight local businesses who offer free refills of tap water from their premises for locals and visitors.
Northern Ireland uses 145 million single use plastic bottles every year. By switching to a reusable bottle, people can help to turn the tide and reduce plastic waste. It is estimated that there are currently more than 150m tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans, and that some 100,000 sea mammals and one million birds die from eating or becoming tangled in plastic waste each year.
It is anticipated that the provision of the water fountain stations will significantly reduce the number of non-reusable plastic drinks bottles on our beaches. In fact, research suggests that providing more free drinking water in public spaces could lead to a 65% reduction in the use of plastic water bottles.