Cork County Council have confirmed that a pilot scheme to install a public water refill station in the west Cork town of Clonakilty will go ahead in the near future.
If successful it is envisaged that refill stations will be installed in towns and villages across west Cork.
The news was confirmed at the recent West Cork Municipal District meeting held in Dunmanway. The new station will be installed at Asna Square in the west Cork town where connection infrastructure is already in place following improvements to the public realm.
It is hoped that the refill station will encourage people to refill reusable water bottles and help to reduce plastic waste from disposable plastic bottles.
It is planned to pilot the station on a six to 12 month basis and if it proves successful similar refill stations will be rolled out across towns and villages in West Cork.
Local Fianna Fáil councillor and current County Mayor Christopher O'Sullivan welcomed the news saying: “There is already a culture of refilling in Clonakilty and this reinforces the message that we really need to get away from plastic packaging altogether. Ireland creates more plastic waste per-capita than anywhere else is Europe and the council should be leading the way and leading by example. This is good news and we all need to support these kind of initiatives.”
Fine Gael councillor Karen Coakley said, “I'm sure this will be a success and the sooner we can see refill stations rolled out to other towns and villages in west Cork the better. I've been campaigning for this for some time and I'd also like to see these at our beaches and other tourist attractions too.”
Clonakilty has been at the forefront of promoting recycling in west Cork with the Twig Refill Shop already established in the town and free water refills also available from some local businesses. This will be the first public water refill station in Cork however and follows a motion passed by Cork City Council in March calling for the introduction of public water fountains in the city's parks. Details of that pilot scheme are due to be confirmed soon.