The refill revolution is heating up on the south coast of England, with the addition of 150 new spots offering free drinking water.
The Dorset coastal towns of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole unveiled the new seafront locations at the start of Plastic Free July 2022. They include more than 130 beachfront taps, 18 kiosks and 15 hydration stations – one of which features superhero messaging and movement-triggered audio to engage young families who typically visit that section of beach.
"This will mean free water for all is not just easier and cheaper, but also fun and engaging."
Eye-catching new artwork from UK artist Rick Walker has been completed on a lifeguard building, featuring a call to “join the refill revolution”. There will also be a series of awareness-raising beachfront events and performances throughout July.
Local authority BCP Council has partnered with environmental charity City to Sea to expand the refill initiative, which forms part of the council’s Turning the Tides campaign, bringing a long-term transformation of 15 miles of waterfront. All new drinking water spots will be mapped out on City to Sea’s award-winning Refill app.
City to Sea’s head of development Jane Martin said: “Try to hand out a leaflet with information on and people will walk in an arc to avoid you. Put on an engaging piece of street theatre of live music and people will naturally flock to see what’s happening. This is the basis for our work with BCP Council.
“We both want to see the end to plastic pollution, and we know, through years of running effective behaviour change campaigns, that they need to be positive, fun and engaging.
“The 15 miles of waterfront are going to be completely transformed this summer with new artwork, performances and, crucially, new infrastructure. This will mean free water for all is not just easier and cheaper, but also fun and engaging. Visitors will have a better time and our beaches will be left cleaner.”
BCP Councillor Beverley Dunlop said: “Tourism brings £13 million to our economy every year, which is why it’s so important that our beaches remain clean and welcoming, and these new hydration stations alongside the refill app providing locations to refill water bottles for free, shows that we’re an eco-conscious holiday destination.”