In a bid to fight the growing issue of plastic pollution, not-for-profit organisation Healthy Waterways has released the trial of a revolutionary new initiative, Water on Tap® – the first vending machine in Australia to dispense both reusable water bottles and free chilled water.
Water on Tap® is an innovation-patented water vending machine empowering the community to choose to reuse by dispensing reusable water bottles and free chilled water. Sparkling water is also available for $2 and the machine has a digital display for community service announcements and advertisements. All net profits are donated to help support the Healthy Waterways Clean Up Program.
Machines are currently being trialled at Redcliffe Jetty, Roma Street Parkland and Griffith University’s Gold Coast Campus. Healthy Waterways hopes to harness support from the trial for a full-scale roll-out of the initiative in 2016.
Healthy Waterways CEO, Ms Julie McLellan said Water on Tap® empowers the community to choose to reuse and reduce waste.
“We understand that convenience plays a big role here- remembering to take a reusable bottle with you and then finding somewhere to refill it are barriers we are aiming to overcome with Water on Tap®.”
“For the last 8 years, our Clean Up Program has recorded plastic bottles as the number one litter item they collect from our waterways. Plastic pollution is not only unsightly, it causes serious damage to our ecosystem, killing marine animals and even entering the food chain,” Ms McLellan said.
To further support the use of reusable water bottles, Healthy Waterways has developed a mobile website waterontap.org. The site locates the nearest drinking water fountain to you, so you can easily refill your reusable water bottle while you’re out and about. As Water on Tap® vending machines are installed, they will also be added to the app.
When qldwater first met with the team from Healthy Waterways three years ago to talk about possible collaboration between our organisations, it was clear that we were on the same page even though we were viewing it from different angles.
The aim of our qldwater on tap campaign was simple – to promote the fact that we have excellent quality drinking water here in Australia that negates the need for people to buy expensive bottled water. For Healthy Waterways, who have been tracking the environmental health of our waterways for many years, the dramatic increase in single-use plastic bottles collected through their Clean Up Program and on community cleanup days and the impact this has on environmental health was of great concern.
We are pleased that Healthy Waterways, through the breadth of their connections, are successfully implementing the trial phase of their Water on Tap® initiative.