“Provide us with an alternative to plastic bottled water,” was the challenge set by the organisers of Goldcoast Oceanfest in spring 2018. That’s exactly what we did, and in June that same year, we launched the Plastic Free North Devon Water Bar offering drinking water to over 10,000 festival goers.Another unexpected benefit is the sense of community and purpose they create – beach cleans are not just good for the planet but good for our wellbeing as well!! More recently we have taken our beach clean model “upstream” with events running in villages, towns and along riverbanks. Ultimately we hope to prevent plastic waste getting into the local environment but for as long as it does we will continue to run our cleans. In 2018 more than a 1000 people attended our beach cleans removing over a ton of plastic rubbish. We plan to do even more in 2019!
Each year, 7.7 billion bottles of water are consumed in the UK, of which around 2 billion end up in landfill or the environment. 160 million barrels of oil are used globally to produce and transport these bottles. This is an unnecessary use of our natural resources and has huge environmental consequences.
The Water Bar provides a means of distributing fresh, filtered water at events. Mains drinking water is passed through a home-made, solar-powered cooler before being filtered, and event-goers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bottles to refill again and again for a small fee.
The water bar is a great way to engage with event-goers on the issue of plastic pollution; it provides a practical way to reduce unnecessary plastic consumption and is cheaper than buying bottled water.
In 2018 we supported eight festivals and sporting events, saving the equivalent of 6000 plastic water bottles from being used.
If you would like us to support an event you are running or want ideas for making your own water bar to use, please get in touch with us, we’d love to help.