The ultimate status symbol: Regular tap toppers-up will be able to collect vouchers entitling them to claim a free metal bottle – possibly with Penarth Town Council’s crest on it

Penarth Town Council is considering signing-up to a scheme which will enable anyone to enter participating shops, cafes and other businesses in Penarth – including the council offices  – and ask for their water bottle to be re-filled with tap-water, free of charge.

The scheme is called “City to Sea Refill” which originated in Bristol and already operates in Llantwit Major.

Thousands of plastic bottles containing Brecon Carreg water stand by for Cardiff Half Marathon competitors on Penarth Road – all wrapped in yet more plastic .

The idea is that refilling plastic bottles saves them being thrown away after just one use  – and therefore would help reduce the amount of plastic in the environment.

The refill scheme involves the use of a free mobile phone “app” which would map the locations of participating organisations in the town. A Refill logo is also to be displayed in the front windows of businesses taking part.

There would be a “reward scheme” which would hand out tokens to those refilling their plastic bottles which would entitle them – in due course –  to claim a free metal water bottle – branded with the Penarth Town Council logo.

The existing public water fountain in Belle Vue Park

There are also plans to install a water fountain in Penarth Town Centre funded by sponsorship from local businesses.

Cllr Jon Luxton (Labour Stanwell) is Deputy Mayor of Penarth

Cllr Jon Luxton (Labour Stanwell) asked the council’s policy innovation and development committee – which was considering the idea – whether there was any evidence that such a scheme actually worked . Council officer Arabella Calder said that there was evidence the refill logo was becoming increasingly well-known.

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative St Augustines)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) asked if it would be possible to have refill stations set up in the council HQ at West House, the Paget Rooms and Penarth Cemetery.

Ms Calder said “Well we can put a sticker on our window here and if somebody rings the bell they can come upstairs and fill their water bottle”   .

Gary Allman (Conservative  St Augustine’s Ward)

Cllr Gary Allman (Conservative St Augustines) – who has done much to draw attention to the large amount of plastic waste floating in Cardiff Bay –  asked where the council would stand on Health and Safety in providing this service. Council officers said most businesses  – and the council –  had their own Health and Safety regulations.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) said – “We’re working on an open goal  here; we should be doing it” but said it was right to point out some of the issues “Health and Safety is obviously one of them” but added that many local residents had “water-quality issues in this town. Lots of people have got old pipes for example. That’s almost inevitable, but you can get around that by making sure you run the tap a little bit  – not too much – and you get rid of the contaminants that way”.

Cllr Wilson said it was an excellent idea which the town council should be promoting. The council could pay the initial £250 registration fee –  but subsequently he suggested that this could be taken on in due course by Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) – [the environmental organisation run by Green Party activist Anthony Slaughter]. 

It was resolved that the Town Council would try the scheme for one year .

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  1. Moneypenny says:

    What happened to the water fountain outside the Baths.

  2. Dan Potts says:

    Gpg is Slaughter’s one man band, almost everyone else has left in protest.

  3. snoggerdog says:

    penarth used to have water fountains each end of the prom north & south slipways,also at least two at the athletic field,also a horse trough on the end wall between plassey st /windsor rd coming up from cogan & while im on the subject their still is a horse trough on the other side of the road opposite barry town station.

  4. AK says:

    Just take an empty bottle and ask for it to be refilled (or refill it yourself).

    No need for all the expense and fuss.

    Bring back public drinking fountains !

  5. Teresa Mitchell says:

    I agree. Why produce bottles when so many already exist? The idea is to re-use not to produce more ultimate waste. We have to get out of the habit of creating the need for more “junk”.

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