Free drinking water could be provided within parks and public places in Eastbourne.
The council is supporting the environmentalist group Refill scheme, which allows people to refill bottles with free tap water at businesses and says a scheme within the authority’s own parks could become a reality as part of a bid to reduce single use plastic and prevent pollution in the sea.
Participating cafes, bars, banks, shops, galleries and other businesses put a sticker in their window alerting passers-by to the fact that they are welcome to come in and fill up their bottle for free.
A council spokesperson said, “The provision of more drinking water facilities within Eastbourne would help to provide free and accessible tap water to those who need it, whether or not they have a reusable bottle on them, reducing the need to purchase potentially less healthy drinks in single-use containers, on the go. This will support the aims of the council to reduce single-use plastics in our community.
“As a first step to this project officers will conduct a desk-based study to assess the potential for drinking water installations in parks and other locations where there is a council-owned and managed water source available, for example at public toilets.
“As a guide, a typical stainless steel water fountain retails at around £500 but a simple push tap would be even easier to install and maintain. A £3,000 budget is available for this project within the 2018/19 year.
The installations would need to be supported in parallel by the community-led national Refill campaign, which EBC can encourage and support. This work will be largely conducted and driven by volunteers alongside access to council owned refill points,such as putting drinking water facilities at the Bandstand toilets onto a Refill App.”