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Water refill units

Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) declared a Climate Emergency in February 2019 and since then have been working with Somerset County Council and other district councils across the county to produce a countywide climate emergency strategy. Our own carbon neutrality and climate resilience action plan sits alongside the strategy and includes actions related to water saving measures.

In the UK we use and throw away 7 billion plastic bottles of water each year, which contributes to the 12 million tonnes of plastic entering our oceans every year with devastating effects on our eco systems. Sadly, over half of the 300 million tonnes of plastic that enters the oceans worldwide are single use.

Helping to eliminate plastic water bottles from the waste stream is a very positive and achievable step that people and communities can take to help reduce these large waste numbers.

Working with Wessex Water to install one water refill point in Taunton, one in Minehead and also one in Wellington, will give people more easily accessible options and help break the habit of reaching for the single use plastic.

The project is being funded by Wessex Water in line with their ‘Refill not landfill’ campaign to discourage public reliance on the consumption of single use water bottles. Each refilling station will offer free water for visitors using reusable bottles as a sustainable alternative.

Once turned on, the refill units will be cleaned, maintained and inspected regularly to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and water quality.

SWT is supporting the project and has been working with Somerset County Council to agree the locations and appropriate licenses for Wessex Water to carry out the installation work.