Monday, 22 August 2022 10:33

19,000 Single-use Plastic Bottles Stopped on Beachfront in July

19,000 Single-use Plastic Bottles Stopped on Beachfront in July

19,000 single-use plastic bottles have been saved from our waste stream during Plastic-Free-July thanks to BCP Council and City to Sea's “Turning the Tide” project.

This ambitious collaboration saw 150 water refill points revamped and unveiled offering free drinking water along the 15 mile stretch of seafront that included 18 seafront kiosks, over 130 beachfront taps and 15 new decorated “Hydration Stations”.

The launch of the project was celebrated with the unveiling of a community art project at the lifeguard building at Durley Chine created by Paintshop, depicting sea life and eco-messages about how refill and reuse can avoid plastic pollution.

The unveiling coincided with live performances every Saturday along the beach front by street artists that inspired and directed visitors and residents to refill from the new water fountains and beach front taps. They also handed out free reusable water bottles to those that needed them making sure no one would go thirsty!

Jane Martin, City to Sea’s Head of Development, said: "Through Plastic-Free-July we’ve been monitoring the new water Refill points across the seafront in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch and we’ve seen a flood of people refilling their bottles. We now have data from 5 of the 15 newly installed water fountains which shows we have stopped 19,000 single-use plastic bottles from entering our waste stream. This is a huge achievement.”

She continued, “Hundreds of people have downloaded the Refill app and we have recorded over 9,000 people using the “Superhero Tap” next to Happy Land. I am delighted to see the team’s hard work paying off already. Going forward no pebble will be left unturned as we work out how we can eliminate plastic pollution from the beach front.

The next step in this project is to get The Seaside Environmental Hub Bournemouth at Durley Chine open and to roll out the innovative ‘Seaside School’ education programme to schools. All of this combined we are sure will see a massive reduction in single-use plastic littered on the beach, saving BCP Council money and, crucially, saving millions of pieces of single-use plastic from entering our waste system”.

Local businesses also got involved with the Oceanarium giving one of its external walls over for signage to support the campaign.

Cllr Mark Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Place, said: “This last month has really shown what can be achieved when the council, civil society and business all work together. With over a million people visiting our seafront in July we are normally inundated with mountains of rubbish. But this Plastic-Free-July we’ve managed to make a real dent in this problem, thanks to the 150 hydration stations we’ve put in along the seafront through our partnership with City to Sea. This initiative is one of many to reduce litter on the seafront. Last year, we installed extra triple sized bins along the promenade and put in place more daily collections, with manual crews on standby when the locations such as the promenade become busy. I want to pay tribute to the many businesses along the seafront who have really got on board with what we are trying to achieve along the seafront and also thank the council beach cleaning teams who work hard to keep our resort tidy.

“This is a community effort that we are proud to be leading.”