Wales coast path walkers to get free water bottle refills

Date posted: 5 June 2018

Walkers will be able to access free drinking water along the Wales coast path as part of the Welsh Government’s drive to help tackle plastic pollution.

Newgale Coastal walk
© David Nunn

We would like to see this joined with a deposit return system for cans, plastic and glass bottles. I’d like to encourage all retailers, along the coastal path to sign up to the scheme

Gill Bell,
MCS Head of Conservation Wales

Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn says the government will work with towns, villages and food and drink businesses to sign up to become refill points along the 870-mile path. The path has become the first location for the roll-out of a refill scheme in Wales.

Businesses that sign up will help to reduce single-use plastics in Wales and will be visible to walkers through window stickers as well as being listed in a bi-lingual ‘refill’ app.

The app will provide the public with a list of locations where free drinking water is available, making it easier for people to refill their water bottles without needing to purchase single-use bottles.

Ms Blythyn said: “I’m delighted to announce today that the Wales coast path will be the first location in our drive to make Wales the world’s first refill nation.

“Wales is the first country in the world to have a dedicated footpath that stretches the entire coastline, and we as a government are very much looking forward to working with the communities along these 870 glorious miles to curb the use of single-use plastic.

“This is just the first step in our ambition to become the world’s first ‘refill nation’.

“More refill points along our coast will help reduce the number of plastic bottles ending up in the sea, which can have a devastating effect on our marine environment.”

Gill Bell, MCS Head of Conservation in Wales says it’s a really welcome move: “Anything which encourages people to reuse and reduce the number of drinks bottles they buy, will benefit the marine environment. We would like to see this joined with a deposit return system for cans, plastic and glass bottles. I’d like to encourage all retailers, along the coastal path to sign up to the scheme.

“Starting this refill roll-out at the coastal path is wonderful news for our coastline but lets see efforts stepped up so it soon covers the whole of Wales. Not all bottles on the beach are littered on it or close by - they be carried from far inland, through drains and rivers before arriving on our beaches.”

The Wales coast path runs along the entire coast of Wales and is a £14 million project that opened in 2012. Wales is the first country in the world to have a dedicated path along the full length of its coast.

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Did you know?…

Litter has increased by 135% since 1994, with plastics increasing by a staggering 180%

To date, our beach cleans have removed 6 million pieces of litter

Wales has a staggering 2,740 km of coastline