Sea-Changers has awarded 8 organisations grants from the 2023 Bunzl Coastal Fountain Fund. The fund, which was launched in 2020 has already funded 23 water bottle refill stations sited around the UK coast. The new fountains will enable more communities to benefit from fountains in busy and/or environmentally important coastal locations. In 2023 the grant awards have been given to a range of organisations around the UK. The awards include:
Pirnmill Village Association in the Isle of Arran
Barrow Borough Council - Walney Island beach
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Ness Sport and Recreation Association – Sporsnis, Isle of Lewis
Newbiggin by the Sea Town Council – Promenade
Sefton Council – The Promenade, Ainsdale on Sea
South Tyneside Council – Littlehaven Beach
The fund aims to tackle the increasing problem of plastic bottles, left behind along the coast as marine litter, which damage the marine environment and the species that call it home. It is anticipated that the provision of the water refill stations will significantly reduce the numbers of non-reusable plastic drinks bottles on our beaches. In fact, research suggests that providing more free drinking water in public spaces could lead to a 65% reduction in the use of plastic water bottles.
The fund is sponsored, as in previous years, by the specialist international distribution and services group, Bunzl plc, who are supporting this work as part of their response to the plastic challenge. The issue remains widespread on UK beaches despite the rising awareness around the impact of single-use plastic.
Helen Webb, Co-Founder of Sea-Changers said "This year we were overwhelmed by the number of fantastic applicants to the Fountain Fund. It total 31 organisations applied and lots of these would have been great locations for coastal fountains. It been a tough process for the grants panel to pick out the grant winners. We really do feel we have some great sites for fountains and can’t wait to see them installed over the coming months. As always, the locations of the fountains are a great mix of busy areas, areas where discarded plastic would have a particularly devastating impact, or both. We know water fountains have a huge impact on the local environment and they are very much welcomed by the local community."