SCOTTISH WATER’S LATEST TOP UP TAP IS PAWSOME!

Dog walkers at one of Scotland’s most visited parks are lapping up Scottish Water’s newest Top Up Tap.

Popular with dog walkers, runners, cyclists, and people going for a leisurely stroll, visitors to Drumpellier Country Park in North Lanarkshire can now retrieve a drink of great-tasting Scottish water at the newly installed public tap.

It was the 40th tap to be installed as part of Scottish Water’s roll-out of a network of public water points where people can use refillable bottles to help stay hydrated, protect the environment by reducing waste and save money.

The equivalent of more than 400,000 single use plastic bottles have been saved by people using the tap network for their refillable bottles.

Little 11-week old Oscar’s first walk around Drumpellier Country Park coincided with the go-live of the newest tap.

Exhausted and thirsty after exploring a whole new world for the first time, Oscar lapped up a freshly poured drink of water from the tap which is located close to the park’s visitor centre and car park.

And he even got in on the sustainability act, with his owner providing a portable bowl made from sustainable material for him to rehydrate from.

Over one million people visited Drumpellier Park last year. It forms part of the Seven Lochs Wetland Park, Scotland’s largest urban nature park which spans the Glasgow and North Lanarkshire council boundaries between Easterhouse, Coatbridge and Stepps.

Drumpellier’s joins a growing network of bright blue water-refill points popping up all over Scotland as part of Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign. The campaign is encouraging people to drink more tap water, carry a reusable water bottle when they’re out and about, and help reduce plastic waste.

Lorna Neilson, senior project manager at Scottish Water, said:

“Our network of public water refill points is growing at a rate of knots, with new taps coming into play every few weeks now.

“Since the introduction of our inaugural Top Up Tap at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh back in October 2018, the total output from all of our taps combined has been 138,472 litres of water – that’s the equivalent of 419,612 single-use plastic bottles (330ml) saved which is incredible! We continue to encourage everyone to top up from the tap with great-tasting Scottish Water, whether at home or on the go – it’s good for you, your pocket and the planet.”

 

Scottish Water taps have also recently become operational at the following locations:

– Murraygate, Dundee

– Clyde Square, Greenock

– Main Street, Largs

– Grass Market, Edinburgh

– Rutland Place, Edinburgh

Check out our Tap Map for more.

Additional safety and cleaning measures have been put in place on all Top up Taps due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This includes deep cleaning, disinfecting and maintenance, as well as a special coating on the entire refill station which stops any virus and bacteria being absorbed.

St Andrews tapping into refill trend

Historic St Andrews is now home to a new water refill tap to enable to people top up with tap water on the go.

The tap is located outside the public library on Church Square and it is hoped locals and visitors to the Fife town will fill up when out and about.

The refill points are part of Scottish Water’s ‘Your Water Your Life’ campaign encouraging people to drink more tap water to stay hydrated, save money and protect the planet by not having to use disposable plastic bottles.

The tap was welcomed by Councillor Ross Vettraino, Convenor of Fife Council’s Environment and Protective Services Committee.  He said:

“These refill taps convert a single-use water bottle to one that can be used time and time again, thereby enabling the community to reduce its reliance on single-use plastics.

“Such plastics, which include those in which bottled water is sold, pose a particular threat to the environment and to the future of the planet because of the energy they consume in their manufacture and because of their persistence in the environment if they aren’t properly recycled.”

The blue top up taps digitally track water usage and records cost savings. To date the equivalent of more than 315,000 single-use plastic bottles have been saved with the install of the free refill taps.

Scott Fraser, Regional Communities Manager at Scottish Water, said:

“The home of golf and Scotland’s oldest university is a perfect location for our latest refill tap.

The top up taps bring a supply of clear, fresh and great-tasting drinking water right to the heart of St Andrews for everyone.

“There’s a growing appetite from the public to carry a reusable bottle with them and our refill taps give them easier access free water while they are out and about.

“Today is Global Recycling Day and we are urging more people to get into the habit of carrying a refill bottle and using our refill taps to top up with Scotland’s world class drinking water. Our message is simple – these taps are great for health, your pocket and the environment.”

This is the 34th top up tap installed by Scottish Water and the second in Fife, one was previously launched in Dunfermline. The utility aims have soon delivered 70 public space water refill points across Scotland by summer.

Additional safety and cleaning measures have been put in place on all the refill taps due to the ongoing Covid pandemic. This includes additional deep cleaning, disinfecting and maintenance.

Are you one of the many turning to the tap through lockdown?

Health-conscious people in Scotland are turning to tap water to help them stay fit during lockdown.

A new poll has found that people plan to drink more of Scotland’s world-class water as they walk, run or cycle in 2021.

The survey – commissioned by Scottish Water via YouGov* – reveals that a third of adults in Scotland (32%) intend to drink more tap water to help with mental well-being and protect the environment.

And the survey showed women aged 18-24 are the most likely to be drinking more tap water (54%) this year.

The results are major boost to Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign which aims to both celebrate Scotland’s tap water and encourage us all to top up from the tap and reduce waste including single use plastics. From a separate survey, 93% of people in Scotland agree refilling a reusable bottle from the tap is helpful for the environment and 83% agree that Scotland’s water is a precious natural resource[1].

A central theme of the campaign has been the roll out of Top up Taps at locations across Scotland, which are allowing people to stay hydrated on the go by topping up their refillable bottles for free.

And the latest TV ad for Your Water Your Life underlines the benefits of topping up from the tap while people are on their permitted lockdown walk or exercise.

The poll findings have been welcomed by Scotland’s National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch as further endorsement of how keeping hydrated can help people as they cope with the challenges of lockdown.

Professor Leitch said:

“Water is vital for life. It makes up around 60% of a person’s body, so it’s not surprising that a drop in levels can impact on our health, vitality and performance.

“When time allows, I have been going out for runs to stay both physically and mentally happy, so I know how important it is to ensure I drink plenty of water both during and afterwards.

“We are all coping in different ways with lockdown and keeping hydrated – whether in or outdoors – is so important, And, of course, we are can be extremely thankful that we have such good quality tap water to enjoy at home and outside.”


The survey, carried out by YouGov in January, showed that 32% of people are intending to either drink a lot or a little more in 2021, which equates to 1.4million people.

Of that 32%, 76% say it’s to improve their physical health, 56% to help protect the environment by reducing plastic waste and 41% to improve their mental wellbeing. That equates to 31% of the Scottish population (or 1.3million) who are planning to drink more in 2021 to improve their health, mental well-being or protect the environment.

The public desire to drink more water matches the ever-growing popularity of usage of Scottish Water’s Top up Taps, which are now in 39 locations across Scotland. The equivalent of more than 350,000 plastic bottles or nearly 117,000 litres have been saved by people topping up from the network of the distinctive bright blue water refill points since the project was launched two years ago. Scottish Water is to install further taps throughout the country as the rollout programme continues.

Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water, said Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign aims to encourage people to top up from the tap to benefit the planet, their health and their pocket and celebrate the country’s precious, natural resource.

Brian added:

“Of all the things we can do to stay healthy – such as getting more sleep, exercise or eating more vegetables, water is amazing in its simplicity. Coming straight from the tap, it’s easy and accessible. And what’s more, the quality of Scotland’s tap water is world class.

“This research, coupled with the take-up of our Top up Taps, shows that people are increasingly seeing the well-being benefits of drinking more water – particularly as they enjoy a walk, run or other exercise.

“By topping up with tap water, at home or when out and about, we’re helping support the movement to reduce upstream litter which can harm our waterways and environment.”

Elsewhere the YouGov survey found an estimated 1.8 million adults in Scotland intend to increase their efforts to help protect the environment in 2021, that’s 42% of the population.

Around 29% of the adult population (1.28 million) are planning to do things in and around the home to help save water such as turning the tap off when brushing teeth, washing the car by hand and only boiling the minimum amount of water needed in the kettle. And 27% (1.19 million) plan to drink tap water to help reduce waste from single use plastics.

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,029 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th– 21st January 2021.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).

[1] 8-10 September 2020 YouGov Survey +1000 adults

 

Cuppa blend inspired by Scottish tap water brews friendships in battle against loneliness

People impacted by loneliness and isolation have been supported by mental health heroes fuelled through cups of tea made with Scotland’s famous tap water.

A collaboration between Edinburgh-based whole leaf tea company eteaket and Scottish Water led to the creation of the “Keep the Heid” blend, which has proved a hit with customers around the world.

With donations from every sale being donated to the Health in Mind charity which promotes positive mental health and wellbeing in Scotland, £650 has been directed towards supporting those who would benefit from befriending.

The charity said the link-up through Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign has made a positive difference.

The boost comes on Brew Monday – led by the Samaritans who encourage people to stay connected with a virtual cuppa to counter the January blues.

Lynne Stanford, Fundraising Manager at Health in Mind, said:

Huge thanks to eteaket for their extremely generous donation of £650 in December, which came from their ‘Keep the Heid’ tea and advent calendar sales.

With this donation eteaket could support and train six volunteer befrienders, enabling six people who are experiencing loneliness and isolation a chance to reconnect with others and their local community. They have wonderfully promoted positive mental health and are true Health in Mind heroes.”

Sales of Keep the Heid have seen tea shipped to Australia, Japan, the USA and Canada. The blend was designed to complement Scotland’s best natural resource, its tap water, with £1 from every blend sold donated to Health in Mind.

Erica Moore, Founder and MD of eteaket, said international sales of the tea boosted the charity donation.

It’s amazing that the blend has been so popular abroad – it’s really a privilege to be able to spread a little bit of Scotland and the joy of tea all over the world.

Keep the Heid is particularly popular in America, but the blend has also found its way across Europe to Germany, Hungary, France and Belgium.

While people abroad can’t enjoy our lovely Scottish tap water, they’re clearly eager to enjoy a taste of Scotland through the blend.”

The blend, a loose leaf tea that retails in 100g packs, is a new take on traditional black tea inspired by Scottish flora; mixing blends of Assam and Darjeeling combined with heather and Scottish meadowsweet, both herbs traditionally native to Scotland. Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water, said:

We’re thrilled Keep the Heid has been so popular abroad and has in turn contributed to eteaket’s charitable contributions to Health in Mind.

eteaket has been a fantastic supporter of Your Water Your Life and has really helped dial up our appreciation for one of the most overlooked – yet vital – ingredients in our cuppa, our water.

Your Water Your Life is a celebration of Scottish tap water and how it supports the daily lives of millions of people, encouraging all of us to be more mindful of how we use water.”

‘Keep the Heid’ Limited Edition tea is available to buy online at https://www.eteaket.co.uk/shop/keep-the-heid-limited-edition/  at £7.95 for 100g, and in eteaket’s shop and Tea Room.

Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign aims to encourage people to top up from the tap to benefit the planet, their health and their pocket and celebrate the country’s precious, natural resource.

City celebrates set of six top up taps this Christmas – as major plastic saving milestone reached

Scotland’s capital has boosted its green status by switching on six new public water taps to keep people hydrated on the go and protect the planet by reducing waste.

Three new taps have gone live in Edinburgh to add to three previously installed throughout the city. It places the capital at the forefront of Scotland’s drive to embrace its public tap water as a vital daily resource.

The six taps are part of Scottish Water’s flagship Your Water Your Life programme which will see 70 installed throughout the country before the end of Spring. Using a refillable bottle to top up at the tap keeps people hydrated, saves money and reduces single use plastic.

Launching the Royal Mile tap, chief operating officer Peter Farrer, said he was proud his home city had become the first place to establish its full network of free water top up points. And he revealed the growing network has already saved the equivalent of 300,000 single use plastic bottles (330ml) since the first tap went live outside Holyrood two years ago. 

The latest taps are in the landmark locations of the Royal Mile, Grassmarket and at Rutland Place in the West End. The three earlier taps were in place in Leith Links, Portobello and outside the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Farrer said:

“There’s a growing appetite among people to carry and fill up reusable bottles and this is a wonderful, sustainable festive gift to this beautiful city. Edinburgh is now leading the way when it comes to making it easier to access free clear, fresh drinking water on the go. Well done for joining the wave by committing to help create a sustainable future.

“We are urging people who live and work in the capital, and the many, many thousands who visit this historic capital to use these taps. With six now installed in some of the busiest parts of the city these is no excuse not to top up when you pass by them.”

Every refill tap is fitted with a monitor which records how much tap is used and this week Scottish Water total use at the 32 up-and-running taps passed milestone 100,000 litre mark.

Mr Farrer added:

“When we looked at setting up these refill taps we were very excited knowing the benefits they bring. To reach this landmark figure is a credit to the people of Scotland who should feel duly proud of playing their part in reducing single use plastic waste which we all know can be so damaging to the environment.”

It is expected that other cities and larger towns will follow Edinburgh’s lead and give the green light to a series of taps being put in place.

City of Edinburgh Council Leader Adam McVey said:

“Top Up Taps is a great initiative and I’m delighted to see this expand further with the sixth tap in the heart of the city on the Royal Mile. It’s been great to see so many residents using the taps already.  We are committed to reducing plastic in the Capital and these refill spots make it even easier for people to stay hydrated when out and about in a sustainable way. 

“Edinburgh now has Top Up Taps in six of our busiest areas, helping us as we work towards eradicating the use of disposable plastic as an important strand of work to tackle climate change in our city.”

The set of new Edinburgh taps were also welcomed by Mark Davidson, manager of Royal Mile Whiskies, one of the world’s most respected whisky merchants and winner of Whisky Magazine Retailer of the Year Award eight times since 2003, which is close to the new tap.

Mark said:

“The word whisky comes from Uisge Beath – the Scottish Gaelic for “water of life”. There is no doubt Scotland’s water, which comes from many natural resources, helps make the country’s whisky taste so good. So it is very fitting for us to raise a glass and say cheers to the new refill tap near our shop and for the other five across the Capital.

“Like any responsible business we are reducing our reduce plastic waste and being as green as we can. These refill taps are a superb idea to let people top up have easier access to tap water on the go. They really are a dram fine idea.”

Rebecca Foster, Consumer Campaigns Manager at Zero Waste Scotland, also praised the set of six new taps. She said:

“It’s great Edinburgh is now home to a route of six top up taps. Choosing a reusable bottle over single-use reduces the likelihood of litter and cuts the amount of carbon produced in the materials, manufacture and transport of new bottles. Topping up at the tap makes sense.”

Additional safety and cleaning measures have been put in place on all the refill taps as a result of the ongoing Covid pandemic. This includes additional deep-cleaning, disinfecting and maintenance.

Porty lass Gail Porter launches seaside top up tap

Presenter Gail Porter has urged people in her home city to top up from the tap to help look after their health and the planet at the launch of a new refill tap.

Scottish Water has installed the new top up tap in Portobello, not far from where the star grew up. It will let people refill water bottles and stay hydrated when out and about.

Gail had hoped to make the launch in person but due to ongoing Covid regulations must stay in London where she now lives. The ex-Portobello High School pupils said one of the biggest things she missed abut home was the “lovely water”.

The 49-year-old said 

“I’m gutted I can’t be at the launch of this new water refill tap. As a very proud Porty lass and a big believer in all of us doing what we can to look after ourselves and our planet I so wanted to be there. These refill taps are a brilliant idea to help reduce plastic waste and make it easier for folk to top up with water, which most of us – including me – know we need to drink more of.

“I’m sure people who live, work and visit wonderful Portobello will put this refill tap to good use. I can’t wait to try out the tap when I am next home – as I truly miss the taste of Scottish water. In the meantime I have a lovely reusable Scottish Water bottle which reminds me of home and I am now taking out and about on the go with me.”

The tap, situated near the children’s play area on the Promenade, is the third tap to be launched in the Capital. Scottish Water’s first refill tap was unveiled outside the Scottish Parliament two years ago and in September another was unveiled in Leith Links.The bright blue taps are part of a nationwide campaign – Your Water Your Life – by Scottish Water which aims to get more people to carry a reusable bottle. 

Local primary children took part in a competition to design a poster promoting the new refill point and urging people to top up from the tap. The winning design was created by 10-year-old Mairi Melvin, a P6 pupil at Towerbank Primary School. Her poster shows surfers out at sea running out of drinking water with the message that tap water is fresh and good for you. It will go on display in Portobello next month.

Mairi said: “I was so surprised, and so happy, to win. I really like art and loved doing the poster. I thought about water and where we are and thought I would add surfers aswell as the message about how tap water is good for the planet and you can get it for free from this new refill tap.”

Mairi won a voucher donated by staff The Beach Café, which is very near the new tap. The café also donated 2nd and 3rd place vouchers to runners up Anabel Watson and Ethan Cole, also P6 pupils. Gail helped judge the competition along with Zero Waste Scotland, Beach House Café staff and David Crawley, Chair of Portobello Sailing, Kayaking and Rowing Club.

All Scottish Water’s refill taps digitally track water usage and record cost savings. To date more than 82,000 litres of water have been dispensed at the touch of a button at all 29 TUTs installed across Scotland. This adds up to the same as 250,000 330ml-sized plastic bottles – and if laid end-to-end they’d stretch almost from Edinburgh to Stirling Castle. 

Natalie Walker, of Scottish Water’s Corporate Affairs, said: “We want to encourage more people to drink tap water throughout the day to stay hydrated. It’s great for your health and saves money and protects the planet by taking away the need for disposable plastic bottles.

“Our top up taps are also about building a greater appreciation of our water – Scotland’s most precious natural resource. Many people, like Gail, say they miss Scottish water when they are away and 86 per cent of people describe it as “world class”. Making it more accessible with the top up taps makes sense – and we are sure people who live in and visit Porty will agree.”

Scottish Water aims to deliver 70 public space water refill points across Scotland by next spring, including more in Edinburgh.

Rebecca Foster, Consumer Campaigns Manager at Zero Waste Scotland, who helped judge the poster competition, said: “It’s great to see the top up tap being installed in Portobello. Choosing a reusable bottle over single-use reduces the likelihood of litter and also cuts the amount of carbon produced in the materials extraction, manufacture and transport of new bottles. Topping up at the tap is good for your health, good for the environment and saves you money.” 

Scottish Water has highlighted how communities, individuals and organisations can take steps now to increase their sustainability by considering how they use and consume water.​Using a refillable bottle and topping up at the tap is a great way to stay hydrated, save money and help protect the planet by reducing waste.​ The utility is leading a drive urging people to Join the Wave – a commitment to a more sustainable future and a celebration of a flourishing Scotland.​

Additional safety and cleaning measures have been put in place on all the refill taps as a result of the ongoing Covid pandemic. This includes additional deep-cleaning, disinfecting and maintenance.

CALDERGLEN PARK TOP UP TAP IS A ‘KEEPER’

Staff at Calderglen Zoo in East Kilbride have officially launched Scottish Water’s latest Top up Tap at Calderglen Country Park.

The iconic blue water top up tap, situated near to the play area, lets visitors to the park and zoo top up with great-tasting Scottish water for free.

Calderglen Park’s is the 30th tap to be launched as part of our Your Water Your Life initiative to encourage people to carry a refillable water bottle and stay hydrated on the go.

Georgina Reid, Scottish Water’s corporate affairs regional manager, said:

“We’re absolutely delighted to have one of our Top up Taps at this popular tourist attraction and thrilled that Calderglen Zoo is helping create awareness of this new facility among its visitors.

“We’re encouraging everyone – local residents, workers and visitors here – to make full use of the Top up Tap all year round by topping up their reusable bottles when out and about. It can benefit health and wellbeing, saves money and helps reduce waste and its impact on our environment.”

Samir Clark, senior animal keeper at Calderglen Zoo, is fully supportive of this Scottish Water initiative. He said: “We welcome 1,000’s of visitors each year to our zoo which is home to over 50 different species of animal. It’s a very popular attraction for families and offers educational opportunities for young people to learn about wildlife and nature from primary school through to degree studies. We’re sure that all of our visitors will make the most of the Top up Tap – it’s a fantastic addition!”

Scottish Water aims to deliver 70 public space water refill points by the end of March 2021.

Additional safety and cleaning measures have been put in place on all Top up Taps as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This includes deep-cleaning, disinfecting and maintenance, as well as a special coating on the entire refill station which stops any virus and bacteria being absorbed.

Calderglen Zoo has been operating since 1982 when it was opened as a small children’s zoo. It is situated at the heart of Calderglen Country Park and is now home to a variety of species including birds, reptiles and small primates, as well as a small dedicated team of zoo keepers who work tirelessly to provide care and enrichment to its residents.

Tapping into a thirst for sustainability

A Scotland-wide network of public Top up Taps has saved the equivalent of 250,000 plastic bottles through people topping up their refillable bottles while on the move.

And with the go-ahead being given for more taps to be installed across the country, water drinkers are being thanked for their sustainability efforts.

Scottish Water is confirming it is to roll-out its distinctive bright blue water refill points at 70 locations throughout Scotland – including in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Highlands – by March 2021.

It means people keen to stay hydrated on the go can do so free of charge, saving money as well as being kinder to the environment by reducing litter and waste.

So far with 26 taps up and running, more than 82,000 litres of water have been dispensed at the touch of a button into refillable bottles.

It adds up to the same as 250,000 330ml-sized plastic bottles – and if laid end-to-end they’d stretch almost from Edinburgh to Stirling Castle.

The latest Top up Tap to be added to the roll-out programme is in Leith Links in Edinburgh, where City Council leader Adam McVey was on hand to be the first to sample the water.

Edinburgh is also to benefit from a further four tap installations to be sited at Portobello, Royal Mile, West End and Grassmarket. Similar plans are underway in Glasgow for five taps in various locations around the city. Locations elsewhere across Scotland are also being activity progressed.

The Top up Taps are part of Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign which aims to encourage people to top up from the tap to benefit the planet, their health and their pocket.

Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water, said:

We know that people in Scotland share our passion for our country’s great-tasting tap water as well as doing our bit for protecting the environment and improving health. It’s fantastic that our Top up Taps programme remains on track to deliver a national network of 70 refill points by March 2021.

It means people out and about can stay hydrated by filling up for free with high quality public tap water – this is ‘your’ water after all, so we want to make sure you can enjoy it as easy and often as possible.

There’s a growing appetite from the public to fill up their reusable bottles, and in these changing times it is more important than ever to take a refillable bottle with you and have your own fresh, clear water while you’re on the go.

We want to thank Scotland for supporting our Top up Taps and to help to achieve the amazing milestone of reaching the equivalent of 250,000 bottles saved.

Hopefully it becomes the norm for people to seek out our Top Up Taps around Scotland and take their bottles with them whenever they go out.”

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

Long-term initiatives such as Top up Taps are essential in helping to tackle our throwaway culture and in encouraging people to reduce and reuse.

Single-use plastic products are not only wasteful but generate unnecessary litter that blights our beautiful beaches and green spaces while threatening our wildlife on land and at sea.

I look forward to seeing the Top up Taps roll out further across Scotland, making them accessible to communities the length and breadth of the country and I would like to thank Scottish Water for taking action on this important issue. This drive to cut waste will be further complemented by the introduction of our Deposit Return Scheme – the first scheme of its kind in the UK – which will place a 20p deposit on drinks bottles and cans.”

Adam McVey, Council Leader with City of Edinburgh Council, said:

These five new Top Up Taps across the city will help all of us cut down on single-use plastic and it’s encouraging to hear how well the existing taps have already been used.

The Council has a strong commitment to reduce plastic in the Capital and expanding the number of points people can refill their own bottles will help us eradicate the use of disposable plastic and ultimately tackle climate change in our city. These taps make it even easier for us to stay hydrated in a sustainable way when we’re out and about and I know Edinburgh residents will continue to make great use of the new taps once installed.

Access to drinking water refilling points is an issue I’ve personally raised with Scottish Water and I’m delighted they’ve been so engaged in helping Edinburgers do their bit to contribute to a green future for our city.”

Catherine Gee, Operations Director with Keep Scotland Beautiful said,

The unsustainable production, distribution, consumption and disposal of the thousands of single use items used every day in Scotland is inextricably linked to the most serious environmental challenges of our time  – climate change and biodiversity loss.

And litter exemplifies the disregard we have for disposable items – with two out of five sites in Scotland recording drinks related litter.  We welcome the roll out of Scottish Water’s water refill stations which promote reuse and make it easy for people to make more sustainable choices and reduce plastic waste and litter.”

The first of the taps was installed in Edinburgh outside the Scottish Parliament exactly two years ago. Since then taps have been turned on from Shetland to the Scottish Borders. The most popular tap of those currently installed is on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street with taps serving the both ends of the West Highland Way, at Milngavie and Fort William, also proving to be highly popular.

Each of the distinctive, high-tech water stations is plumbed directly into the public water supply and each has digital tracking technology which logs how much water is being used and how much plastic potentially saved.

Hydration for health and wellbeing

Saturday 10 October is World Mental Health day.

Mental health problems can affect anyone. In fact, according to WHO, one in four people will suffer from poor mental health at some point in their lives. That’s a lot. Yet still there’s a stigma attached, a sense that it’s not a real illness, a stiff-upper-lip pull-yourself-together keep calm and carry on attitude towards poor mental health.

There’s no miracle cure. No quick fix, no immunity.

It’s no secret that I’ve battled depression for years. I try to do the right things to care for my head, but sometimes they just don’t work and I get stuck. I’ve got better at knowing the signs of ‘the black dog’ lumbering towards me, but serotonin imbalance is a real thing and has real consequences. Lack of decent sleep makes the days hard to bear, gives way to a lack of motivation which leads to inability to achieve even the small things which makes the last drop of self-confidence evaporate leaving low self-esteem, low mood, inability to sleep… it’s a spiral I suspect many of us are familiar with.

Recently my friend Lou asked me to join her on a ‘Take on Twenty Challenge’ to drink water for 20 days. No caffeine, juice, pop, booze; just good old Scottish tap water. I love water. I drink loads of it as it is. However I also love diet coke, gin and tonic, wine… But I accepted the challenge, it was for a great cause – Business Beats Cancer.

The first couple of days were easy enough. I felt hungrier than usual but no real difference. Then late afternoon headaches began, around the time I would have had a diet coke. By day six though, I started to feel the impact. And I liked it.

I felt fresher in the mornings, a result of better sleep even with a pee-stop circa 4a.m. This made me feel more capable, I worked better, achieved more, I walked the dog further – I even cleaned the house. My head felt better, clearer, more positive. Able.

I started to feel bendier, like my muscles were more flexible. I was eating more fruit – adding it to water to make it more interesting – which must have also impacted on the new supple me.

So there you go – all from taking a break from some artificial stimulants in coffee and booze and drinking gallons and gallons of Scotland’s most precious resource – water.

Clare Smith-O’Donnell.

REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLE A ‘BEAR’ NECESSITY IN PAISLEY

With Scottish Water’s Top up Tap officially launched in Paisley, members of the public are being urged to carry a refillable water bottle and stay hydrated when out and about in the town.

Yesterday, Thursday 8 October, St Mirren FC’s Paisley Panda turned a few heads at the launch of the tap which is situated in Gauze Street, Paisley, just near to the iconic Paisley Abbey.

The 26th water bottle refill station to be launched, Paisley’s tap is the latest addition to a network of top up taps across the country as part of Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign.

The campaign began in 2018 and is encouraging people to make tap water their first choice and to carry a refillable water bottle so they can top up from the tap as they go about their daily lives.

Ruaridh MacGregor, corporate affairs manager in the west, said:

“We’re encouraging everyone to make a refillable bottle a necessity and not leave home without it. Drinking water from a refillable bottle is good for your health, it’s good for the planet by helping to reduce the volume of single-use plastic and it’s good for your pocket too.”

St. Mirren FC Manager, Jim Goodwin, is pleased to see the Scottish Water Top up Tap up and running in Paisley. Hesaid:

“At St Mirren FC we’re well aware of the importance of hydration in order to perform well on the pitch. However, the benefits of drinking plenty of water are for everyone regardless of how much physical activity you do. It’s great that Paisley now has its very own Top up Tap so that everyone can stay hydrated on-the-go and we’re happy to throw our support behind this Scottish Water initiative.” 

Scottish Water aims to deliver 70 public space water refill points by March 2021.

Additional safety and cleaning measures have been put in place on all Top up Taps as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This includes additional deep-cleaning, disinfecting and maintenance including a special coating on the entire refill station which stops any virus and bacteria being absorbed.