Lancaster aims to reduce plastic bottle use by providing free drinking water

Photo of rubbish adjacent to Heath Road sent in by reader
Photo of rubbish adjacent to Heath Road sent in by reader

Plans to install new drinking water fountains in Lancaster and Morecambe in a bid to reduce plastic bottle use have been launched by city councillors.

The proposals by Labour councillors Andrew Kay, Ronnie Kershaw, Oscar Thynne, Claire Cozler and David Whitaker also include supporting a scheme where local food and drink vendors offer refills or free drinking water.

The scheme is aimed at reducing the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfill and the sea.

Councillors agreed unanimously at a meeting on Wednesday night, September 27, that the proposals were a good idea.

Other proposals include promoting public awareness of the issue with partner agencies involved in primary health care and local education, and the possibility of launching a promotional Lancaster refillable water container to be sold at visitor information centres.

Use of re-usable and recyclable coffee cups could be promoted under the plans, and local cafes would be urged to invest in eco-friendly cups.

Cllr Kay said: “Millions of plastic bottles are used by people in the UK every day and then immediately thrown away.

“Although they can be recycled, only around seven per cent of them are turned into new bottles.

“Most either end up in landfill or in the ocean where they pose a real risk to marine life and they can find their way into the human food chain through the fish we eat.

“While recycling is to be encouraged, reducing use of these bottles in the first place is the most sustainable solution.

“We can’t solve this problem single-handedly as a council but we should look at how we can make a difference by raising public awareness and working with local businesses and partner organisations.”