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New partnership with Keep Wales Tidy to help combat single use plastic waste in Welsh schools and businesses

Today we’re urging organisations across Wales to play their part and help reduce the 7.7 billion single-use plastic bottles sold in the UK every year by providing the public with clean, filtered water to refill their drinks bottles. Exciting partnership with Keep Wales Tidy means we’re offering free installation and exciting discount to get you started!

The Plastic Problem

While around 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean from land every year, individuals and businesses in the UK are becoming increasingly engaged with the issues of climate change and are looking for ways to protect the natural world. In the UK 38.5m plastic bottles are used every day – only just over half make it to recycling, while more than 16m are put into landfill, burnt or leak into the environment and oceans each day. Thanks to documentaries such as Blue Planet, single-use plastics are receiving a lot of attention and we’re starting to take action. For example, the Welsh Government is determined to do more to reduce the country’s plastic footprint and has been taking steps to phase out single-use plastic. As well as offering incentives to businesses to provide more plastic-free drinking facilities, councils such as Vale of Glamorgan have been making their own inroads – they’re committed to making Wales the world’s first Refill nation.

Bridgend College bottle refill station

Bridgend College Example

In September 2019 we installed four bottle refill stations in Bridgend College, Pencoed Campus and Queen’s road Campus and in just under 6 months the digital usage counters suggest they have saved the equivalent of 36,898 plastic bottles being used.

Bridgend College’s Assistant Principal Learner Journey, Joe Baldwin said: “As the first college in Wales to publicly support the climate emergency, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact, including the reduction of single use plastic across our campuses and reducing our carbon footprint. This year we issued all students with a reusable water bottle and installed bottle refill stations across our campuses, removing single use plastic cups. We have also replaced bottled drink vending machines and removed plastic cutlery and plastic disposables across all of our catering outlets. Since installing the water refill stations, we have received numerous requests from students for us to install more across our campuses, which is really great! The digital usage counters are a great way to engage students and staff in seeing the impact and difference they’re making on reducing single use plastic.”

This is great example of continued efforts across Wales that shows just how much we can achieve together if we continue to support business and schools and make it easier to roll out more free-to-use, public bottle refill stations. And we’re very excited to now be joined by Keep Wales Tidy on this mission!

 

Keep Wales Tidy

Keep Wales Tidy Logo

Keep Wales Tidy, the charity working across Wales to protect our environment, has already had a great a great impact and ran successful campaigns to reduce plastic pollution and general waste. Between 2008 and 2018 they supported over 3,000 community groups and worked with an average of 30,000 inspiring volunteers each year on an incredible 83,000 clean-ups. And now they’re ready to encourage schools and business in their communities to choose to refill and reuse, instead of buying plastic bottle.

Louise Tambini, Deputy Chief Executive of Keep Wales Tidy said “We are always looking for ways to help communities reduce their plastic use, so we are delighted to be working in partnership with MIW Water Coolers. We’ll be encouraging all our Eco-Schools, Green Flag parks, Green Key accredited businesses and other supporters to get involved and make the most of this special offer. We hope that together we can increase the number of water refill stations across the country.”

We’re offering free installation and a 75% discount on the first year’s rental on refill stations for Eco-Schools and hospitality businesses across Wales. To find out more, visit:  https://www.miw.co.uk/sectors/ and complete the form to receive the discount.