In a bid to reduce plastic, and make it easier and cheaper to stay hydrated, Portsmouth City Council is offering free water refills to members of the public at a number of its buildings and installing five bottle refill stations along Southsea seafront.
The council has joined www.refill.org.uk which has a downloadable Refill app so residents and visitors can search for places to fill up their water bottles in the city free of charge.
Council locations include the civic offices in Guildhall Square and other sites are being added. The council is also encouraging other businesses in Portsmouth to join them.
Councillor Robert New, Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety at Portsmouth City Council, said "As an island city, the issue of plastic in the sea is one right on our doorstep and I am keen to promote ways residents can reduce their consumption of single use plastics. I have written to a number of businesses in the city asking them to join us by adding their business to the Refill app to encourage residents and visitors to make use of reusable drinking bottles and at the same time, enjoy the health benefits of staying hydrated. I'm thrilled that several are on board already."
Also keen to promote the health benefits of drinking water are Councillor Luke Stubbs and Councillor Linda Symes who are working together to install five bottle refill stations along the seafront before the summer.
Councillor Luke Stubbs, who is Cabinet Member for Public Health and Adult Social Care at Portsmouth City Council, said "I'm really pleased that we're making it easier for people to access free drinking water when they're out and about in the city. Staying hydrated is important for good health and water is the best choice you can make. People will now be able to top up their bottles for free at places across the city, which will help to reduce costs when you're out for the day. This project should also have a significant impact on the amount of plastic we use in Portsmouth, which will be another great benefit."
Councillor Linda Symes, who is the council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said "I am pleased that we will be installing five new bottle refill stations along Southsea seafront. This will make it easier for visitors, runners and walkers to access free water and choose it over unhealthy options such as fizzy drinks. The new refill stations are likely to be especially popular during the summer with those enjoying the beach and attending the various great events happening in Southsea. "
For more information about the scheme visit www.refill.org.uk. The free Refill app is available to download from Google Play and Apple Store and you can use it to search for refill locations or to register your business to join the scheme.