Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has secured a second wave of funding for the installation of four new contactless Water Refill Stations at several new locations, including Mossley Mill, V36, Six Mile Water Park and Neilsbrook Community Centre.
It is hoped that being a part of the Marine Litter Project, the Council will help to save thousands of plastic bottles entering our marine environment every year. This year, an additional £35,000 has helped to fund four new permanent and two portable contactless Water Refill Stations and 12 Solar Powered Bins thanks to Live Here Love Here’s Marine Litter Capital Grant Scheme from the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs.
The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman Stephen Ross, explains how this project will help reduce litter caused by single-use plastic drinks packaging and prevent it from entering the marine environment.
“The Council's aim is to provide environmentally sustainable solutions and get ahead of the curve in tackling marine pollution. By investing in these refill stations, the Council is taking a proactive approach to reducing plastic waste and promoting a cleaner, healthier environment.
“The number of bottles of water that have been refilled is measured by the inbuilt digital water flow meter. These results have been so impressive, that we applied for further funding in high-footfall areas. Over 8,000 plastic bottles have been saved since the first stations were installed in March 2022.”
Helen Tomb, Live Here Love Here Manager commented:
“This initiative is a testament to the Council's commitment to sustainability and its efforts to create a more eco-friendly community. The installation of these refill stations is a small step towards a larger goal of reducing plastic waste and protecting our waterways.
“As always, we extend our thanks to all the generous and hard-working volunteers who give their free time to help keep Northern Ireland beautiful. We encourage as many groups as possible to reach out to us if they want to join the ‘Live Here Love Here’ initiatives.”
Ruth Clarke from the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs adds:
“We are delighted to fund the Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Marine Litter Grants Scheme again this year. It is encouraging to see not only the positive impact of the scheme on the local community but also the contribution such projects make to the Department’s wider plan to prevent litter and reduce plastic pollution across NI.”
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council was the first Council in Northern Ireland to install EcoFil contactless water filling stations along its shorelines last year.
For further information about how the Council aims to tackle Climate Change, visit, antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/climatechange
For further information on the Marine Litter Capital Grants Scheme, visit www.liveherelovehere.org.