Scottish Water will install a network of hi-tech ‘Top up Taps’ over the next two years – the first of which will be located outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
Scottish Water says it wants to have ten more taps installed by March 2019 and that it will work with local authorities to find suitable locations to place them.
Sites under consideration include Glasgow, Ayr, Dumfries, Dunfermline, Fort William, Milngavie, Oban, Inverness and Aberdeen. These water refill points are part of a drive to encourage more people to carry refillable bottles and to reduce their usage of single-use plastic ones.
The Top up Taps will be plumbed into the public water supply and are fitted with cloud technology that will digitally track water usage at each point. The data will be used to show the cost and plastic savings of the refill points.
Recoup, a charity promoting plastics recycling, found that UK households use nearly 480 plastic bottles a year but they recycle just over 280 of them.
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Douglas Millican, Scottish Water chief executive, said: “The creation of a new network of public Top up Taps across the country as part of our Your Water, Your Life campaign is a significant boost in encouraging more people to choose to drink tap water in their daily lives.
“Our research shows that people feel very positively towards the quality of Scotland’s tap water – now these state-of-the-art taps can provide access to enable water drinkers to enjoy it while on the go by carrying and using refillable bottles.”
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “I am delighted that our Programme for Government commitment to pilot the creation of a network of public water refill points is coming to fruition so quickly.
“By encouraging people to top-up from the tap using refillable bottles, we will help cut down on our use of plastics and promote the benefits of hydration building on Scottish Water’s Your Water, Your Life campaign. I now look forward to refilling my bottle at the Top up Tap outside the parliament in the coming months.”