Sea-Changers has awarded 9 organisations grants from the 2021 Bunzl Coastal Water Fountain Fund.
After a successful launch last year, the Sea-Changers Coastal Fountain Fund will enable organisations based around the UK to install fountains in busy and / or environmentally important coastal locations.
In 2020 (the pilot year for the Fund) it was able to support projects across 4 locations in the UK including Camber Sands in East Sussex and Portstewart Strand in County Londonderry.
In 2021 the grant awards have been given to a range of organisations from Wildlife Trusts, District, Borough and Community Councils and the National Trust. The locations include:
Blackhead Path in Whitehead near Belfast
Ballygally Beach in Northern Ireland
Fife’s Coastal Path in Scotland
Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve in Lincolnshire
Scarborough Beach in North Yorkshire
East Cost of Alderney in the Channel Islands
Croyde beach in North Devon
Milford on Sea Beach in the New Forest
Worthing Promenade in West Sussex
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 being sponsored 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 is fantastic to be able to be able to offer 9 awards via the Bunzl Coastal Fountain Fund. The locations chosen by our grants panel will ensure maximum impact from the fountains installed – they are all either very busy areas, areas where discarded plastic would have a particularly devastating impact, or both. At the current time there are only a handful of water fountains on beach locations in the UK and we already know these are having a big positive impact on both the local environment and beach-goers’ behaviour."
James Pitcher, Head of Sustainability at Bunzl plc said, “We know that our customers, suppliers and the societies in which our businesses operate around the world all want to find ways to protect our environment and to make better use of natural resources. That’s why we’re delighted to be continuing our support for the fund in 2021 and are looking forward to seeing more water bottle refill stations installed around the UK coast.”