Visitors to some of Scotland’s most beautiful natural locations will be able to refill and stay rehydrated at new public water taps being installed to help reduce waste and litter.
On World Refill Day – when people are encouraged to refill their bottles to help protect the environment – Scottish Water has confirmed that Top Up Taps are being installed within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Cairngorms National Park and Mabie Forest in the south-west.
Eight taps in total are being installed over the summer ensuring that visitors can stay hydrated using refillable bottles and reduce waste and litter, such as single-use plastic. The approach supports the drive to encourage visitors to leave no trace when visiting the countryside.
Five are earmarked for communities in and around Loch Lomond and The Trossachs.
Two taps will be installed over the summer in Aviemore, the outdoors capital of the Cairngorms, and Pitlochry, located near the national park’s southern boundary. A further site is being explored in Braemar.
And another new tap will be located at Mabie Forest in Dumfries and Galloway, popular with walkers and mountain bikers.
They form part of an expanding network across Scotland which have already saved the equivalent of more than 450,000 single use plastic bottles through refills at the push-button water points.
Peter Farrer, Chief Operating Officer, Scottish Water, said:
“Scotland’s great outdoors have never been so popular with visitors. We’re delighted to be able to keep people hydrated with our public water taps at the same time as reducing our footprint on the natural environment.
“There is a real connection between the environment and the water we all enjoy and use daily. Providing people with an opportunity to top up from the tap using refillable water bottles is vital to reducing litter and the amount of single use plastic in our communities.
“The growing network of public taps throughout the country is already making a real contribution to our efforts to be more sustainable and reduce litter. It also means people can enjoy great tasting tap water out and about in more and more places.”
The five taps in Loch Lomond &The Trossachs National Park will be installed at Balloch, Aberfoyle, Callander, Balmaha and Rowardennan.
Forest and Land Scotland and the national park authorities have backed the roll-out.
Simon Jones, Director of Environment and Visitor Services at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said:
“As one of Scotland’s most popular visitor destinations this is fantastic news for the National Park. These taps will benefit both the local and wider environment by reducing litter and helping address the environmental impact of single use plastics such as water bottles.
“As well as being a serious threat to the National Park’s wildlife, litter impacts local communities and affects visitors’ enjoyment while they are here. We have significantly increased our resources on the ground for this season and these new taps complement the additional bins, toilets and staff we have put in place to support the increased numbers of visitors we are seeing. If visitors can refill their water bottles, there is less demand for single use plastic bottles, making it easier for people to leave no trace of their visit.”
Stuart Chalmers, National Visitor Services Manager of Forestry and Land Scotland, said:
“This is a great initiative that we’re happy to support. I’m sure will be a big hit with all of our visitors and will help drive home the message that when it comes to sustainability, little things – like refillable bottles – can make a big difference. “
Grant Moir, Chief Executive of Cairngorm National Park Authority, said:
“Anything that helps reduce single use plastics and results in less litter in the Cairngorms National Park is most welcome. We look forward to more of these taps appearing in other places in the Cairngorms National Park in future.”
The taps will be switched on after a series of tests have been completed to ensure the water is wholesome. They are regularly inspected and cleaned.
More information about our Your Water Your Life campaign at: https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/Your-Home/Campaigns/Your-Water-Your-Life
For more information contact Scottish Water Corporate Affairs on 07469 444806