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Beach offers free drinks to tackle plastic

Words by Smiley Team


To coincide with the start of Plastic Free July, the local council in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP Council) is working with environmental charity City to Sea to launch a campaign to offer free drinking water to help tackle plastic pollution.

There will be an additional 150 places to refill water bottles along Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s seafront this summer, cutting out the need to buy single-use plastic bottles. 

The campaign is part of the council’s “Turning the Tides” initiative that will see the entire beachfront transformed with a series of bright, eye-catching signage, directing people to Hydration Stations and beach taps alongside engaging events, artworks, and installations.     

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Over 150 new places to refill water bottles for free will be added to the award-winning Refill app. This includes 15 “Hydration Stations” along the 15 miles of waterfront with bold eye-catching artwork that has been tailored to different audiences.

For example, the beach tap near Happy Land Arcade will be themed with superhero messaging and movement triggered superhero audio messaging to engage young families who typically visit that section of beach. All 130 beach front taps will also be mapped meaning that all visitors will never be far away from a place to refill their water bottles for free.   

Local businesses will also be joining in offering free drinking water with high street names such as Costa Coffee, Starbucks and McDonalds all on board with the Refill campaign and offering free drinking water.   

'A more sustainable future'

Councillor Mike Greene, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Transport, BCP Council commented: “Since our climate and emergency declaration in 2019, leading our communities towards a cleaner, more sustainable future that preserves our outstanding environment for years to come has been a priority for us.  

“Offering free water refills amongst other things in order to cut out plastic pollution this summer will help to create a step change across our seafront, and I’m keen to see everyone engaging with the refill stations as well as all the activities taking place this July to enable this to happen.”  

Every Saturday throughout plastic-free July there will also be performers taking to the beach front to engage visitors with the campaign.

And the campaign isn’t just focused on cutting out single-use plastic water bottles. The 18 BCP owned kiosks that will be offering free tap-water will also be offering significant discounts to anyone who brings their own reusable coffee cups. With an estimated 2.5 billion single-use coffee cups used in Britain a year and only one in 400 cups recycled, two BCP cafes are going a step further and trialling removing single-use coffee cups entirely. 

Inspired to act?

GET INVOLVED: City to Sea is a not-for-profit that campaigns to stop plastic pollution at source. To find out more about City to Sea, please visit their website

REDUCE PLASTIC: Download the Refill app, which connects people to places they can eat, drink and shop without the pointless packaging. 


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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