New water refill points will help town become more environmentally friendly

PUBLISHED: 08:06 14 August 2018

Market Square, Saffron Walden

Market Square, Saffron Walden

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Saffron Walden Town Council has announced that it will be installing water drinking points in a variety of locations across the town in a bid to decrease the volume of single-use plastic bottles.

The drinking points will include the common’s play area, Bridge End Gardens, Jubilee Garden, Close Garden, the skatepark and by the Golden Acre Community Centre and play area.

In addition, a water supply to the drinking fountain in Market Square will be re-established.

Programs such as Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II have helped propel the problem of single-use plastic into public consciousness and a number of town councillors have already expressed concern on the matter.

This agreement to install drinking fountains will, the council has said, provide fresh drinking water free of charge, as well as being a drinks refill point. The aim is to encourage people to make use of the drinking facilities. Most of the water refill points will be new installations and will therefore require new pipe work and it is hoped that the points will be installed by Easter next year.

A grant for £3,417 has been donated by Uttlesford District Council under its community project scheme and additional funding will be met by the town council. Saffron Walden Town Council said it was “proud to be at the forefront of change” in the town, noting that the initiative aimed to save people money whilst also saving the environment.

Regan Harris, from Anglian Water, said: “The average household bill for water is just £1.15 a day for everything you might need – washing, bathing and drinking – that’s comparable to the price of a single large bottle of shop-bought water or a take away coffee.

“Plus, after reusing your plastic bottle a couple of times, it effectively becomes carbon neutral.”

Additionally, the town’s Tourist Information Centre is a member of the free tap water refill scheme and the public are also welcome to ask staff to refill drinking bottles with tap water. Local retailers and outlets are further encouraged to participate in the initiative.

Further details can be found online at www.refill.org.uk or contact tourist information on 01799 524002.

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