Shellharbour City Council reduce their ecological footprint
Shellharbour Council committed to being a sustainable environmental leader in 2013, when a decision was made to purchase a number of aquafil™ portable water bottle refill stations to use at major community events. The aim of the refill stations was to support the local community in practising sustainable living, reduce waste to landfill and reduce storm water pollution.
In 2012 Shellharbour Council took advantage of a funding opportunity from Keep Australia Beautiful through its Beverage Container Recycling Community Grants, to install a permanent aquafil™ water refill station and drinking fountain at a popular picnic area at Reddall Reserve, on the foreshore of Lake Illawarra.
Both initiatives encourage the consumption of tap water, that has a much smaller ecological footprint than bottled water. These initiatives also encourage people to bring their own drink bottles and embrace the "refuse, reuse" philosophy rather than the "throw away" mentality. By filling up reusable water bottles, Council and the community are reducing the amount of plastic waste that ultimately ends up in landfill, water ways and oceans.
The aquafil™ units with a range of optional features and water meters were installed on both permanent and portable refill stations to calculate the ongoing environmental benefits associated with drinking tap water instead of bottled beverages.
In addition to the display panels which allow for advertising on the refill station itself, Council has also purchased flags that read "Water Refill" to draw attention to the units at events.
“We have only recently started using our aquafil refill stations and already it's great to see the environmental benefits accumulating as each bottle refilled at the station is potentially one less disposable beverage bottle that will be consumed.
“We've also found children have really enjoyed the novelty of refilling their water bottles from the special refill station,” says Alison Mellor, Environment Officer Shellharbour City Council.
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