Sea-Changers has awarded 9 organisations grants from the 2022 Bunzl Coastal Fountain Fund. The fund, which was launched in 2020 has already funded 14 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 2022 the grant awards have been given to a range of organisations from District, Borough and Community Councils and the National Trust. The awards include:
· Lymington and Pennington Town Council - Bath Road Amenity Land
· Medway Council - Riverside country park visitors centre
· Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority (NIFHA) - Portavogie Harbour
· Parkdean Resorts - Croyde
· Portsoy Community Enterprise - Links Rd, Portsoy, Banff
· Rathlin Development and Community Association - Rathlin Island, Ballycastle
· Pirnmill Village Association – Pirnmill, Isle of Arran
· Shoreham Port - Port Kitchen, Southwick
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 "It’s great to see so many of our fountains beginning to spring up around the UK coasts. By the end of 2022 there will be 22 in all. The locations chosen by our grants panel are a really good mix of very 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 beach-goers."