When it comes sustainability and hydration, our team at MIW are a bunch of ‘green’ experts and enthusiast who are always happy to champion exciting new projects that are helping fight plastic pollution. This is why when we heard about Sea Changers new drinking fountain fund aiming to reduce single-use plastics in coastal locations, we knew we had to be part of it.
Funding opportunity to install drinking fountains
Sea Changers, a marine conservation charity, has launched a brand new grant programme this week which could offer a maximum sum of up to £2,000 to groups and organisations around the UK who wish to install bottle refill station on beaches. Part of this project is sponsored by Bunzle plc, a specialist international distribution and services group, who are also passionate about sustainability and protecting the environment. We’re happy to say we will be supplying machines to all interested organisations and helping with all technical specifications.
The charity is hoping that this grant programme will kick off a wider roll-out of drinking fountains and water bottle fillers across UK coastal community and help tackle the increasing plastic pollution problem. Every year huge numbers of plastic bottles are left behind along the coasts and are damaging the marine environment. Research suggests that providing more free drinking water in public spaces could lead to a 65% reduction in the use of plastic water bottles . Sea Changers believe that installing outdoor drinking fountains on beaches will prompt visitors to bring reusable bottles and refill them instead of littering.
It’s not accidentally that Sea Changers are targeting coastal locations in particular. While around 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean from land every year, it is also known that the plastic problem is particularly obvious on the UK’s beaches. In 2019, citizen scientists collected a huge number of drinks containers from beaches around the UK – 16,000 in a single weekend, according to the Marine Conservation Society’s ‘Great British Beach Clean Results 2019’ survey.
We’ve also been involved in a number of projects that aimed to reduce the amount non-reusable plastics and have already seen great results. For example, Scottish Water recently announced that the first 12 bottle refill stations installed around the country saved 120,000 single-use plastic bottles since installation. #OneLess also found that in about a year and a half the bottle refill station on Carnaby Street in London saved equivalent of 70,000 bottles of water.
We’re definitely keeping our fingers crossed for Sea Changers and can’t wait to work together to see what a difference our bottle refill stations will make!
The Sea-Changers Coastal Fountain Fund 2020 is now open for applications until the closing date of 28th February 2020. Individual fountains are eligible for a maximum sum of £2,000, while groups may include multiple fountains into their application if they wish to do so.
Full details on how to apply and the funding criteria can be found at www.seachangers.org.uk/sea-changers-coastal-fountain-fund
1 As shown in research carried out by BRITA UK and Keep Britain Tidy in 2017 which was in turn referenced by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee in the ‘Plastic bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide’ report.