Scotland Taps Into Water On-The-Go

Scotland’s pioneering network of high-tech public water refill taps has hit a key milestone, allowing on-the-go water drinkers to play an important role in reducing waste and protecting the environment.

This Climate Week, Scottish Water can reveal more than 40,000 litres of water have been drunk from its Top Up Taps – the equivalent of 120,000 standard 330ml single-use plastic bottles.

This month marks one year since the first tap was installed outside the Scottish Parliament as part of a campaign to showcase the benefits of using refillable bottles and Scotland’s tap water.

We know the public share the same passion as we do for protecting the environment and improving their health.

Brian Lironi
Director of Corporate Affairs, Scottish Water

A total of 12 Top Up Taps have now been installed around Scotland, from Shetland to Dumfries – with the next launch set to take place in Stirling.

Water sports enthusiasts at the University of Stirling and the university’s Marine Conservation Society visited the tap, which is almost ready to go, on the city’s Port Street to mark the occasion.

The movement to Top Up from the Tap will expand across the country as success of the taps has led Scottish Water to commit to install 70 more over the next 18 months.

People can now fill up with free, fresh water – while Scottish Water uses tap technology to track and report on usage.

Scotland’s most popular tap is on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street, where more than 10,000 litres have been served up, with taps at both ends of the West Highland Way at Milngavie and Fort William also proving a hit.

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: “To be able to say that people topping up on the go equates to the same volume as more than 120,000 plastic bottles is a superb start to our campaign.

“We know the public share the same passion as we do for protecting the environment and improving their health so it’s fantastic to see the Top Up Taps have been so well used.

We can see from the huge demand over this first year that there’s real appetite from the public to fill up their reusable bottles and 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.

Scotland’s Climate Week aims to help businesses and community groups improve their daily routines to help the environment and tackle climate change.

Scottish Water aims to have a tap in all 32 of Scotland’s local authority areas with discussions to take place with local communities on the sites of the remaining taps.

The first 12 Top Up Taps are located in; Fort William, Oban, Milngavie, Glasgow’s Buchanan Street, Ayr, Inverness, Aberdeen, Dunfermline, Dumfries, Shetland, Stornoway and outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

The new taps are 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.