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By Emma Fashokun, manager of the Cornish Gems Coffee Lounge

We’re hoping that the ‘free’ in the headline grabbed your attention — because we, the Plastic Free St Ives committee, are proud and excited to announce that our goal of installing a refillable water point in St Ives has been achieved.

Single-use plastic water bottles are one of the biggest plastic polluters of our oceans. According to Water UK, a staggering 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are used in the UK each year, and many people still feel uncomfortable asking establishments to refill their reusable bottles, especially if they’re not making a purchase.

As part of our Plastic Free St Ives initiatives we resolved to help rectify this problem. We felt that an easily accessible, free water point would encourage tourists and locals alike to really make use of their refillable bottles and resist the convenience of single use.

water refill

Working with St Ives Town Council and supported by local businesses Trevose Harbour House, the Balancing Eel and Cohort Hostel, it was decided that the lifeboat station would be an ideal location for our water bottle refill point. The blue signage and ‘Refill’ logo make it easy to spot, and we are excited to see it up and running.

Please use this facility and encourage your friends and family members to do likewise. If only 30 people per day use this refill station instead of buying bottled water over the summer season, that’s nearly 3,000 single use plastic bottles that will be saved. If you need a further incentive, you can save more than £100 in a year by replacing just two single use water bottles a week with free water in your reusable bottle.

Only about half of plastic bottles actually end up being recycled, which means that an astonishing amount will end up in landfill and in our oceans. Thousands of marine mammals die each year from plastic pollution. It’s not just about the unnecessary use of plastic, though. The average pre-packaged one-litre bottle of water takes six litres of water to produce, wasting a vital and precious natural resource. We are hoping that the new bottle refill station will help our small town tackle a global problem. Spread the word and become part of the refill revolution!