CITY HALL has agreed to introduce a pilot drinking fountain in the city with a view to reducing the use of plastic bottles.
A motion submitted by Councillor Mick Nugent (SF) calling for drinking fountains to be installed in public areas with high footfall was endorsed by councillors this week.
Mr Nugent said the fountains would be ideal in public parks and could drastically cut plastic waste in the city. He added that the idea could be rolled out at Marina Park and Tramore Valley Park, which is due to open this summer.
City Hall director of environment services Valerie O’Sullivan said the Council would look to introduce one at an, as yet, undecided location and monitor its effectiveness.
“It would be useful to the Council to install a public drinking fountain and learn from its operation by putting in a place where it would be well used and in the first instance monitored by our staff like in the curtilage of a park and then roll them out from there,” she said.
In London, water fountains were installed last summer, with 8,000 litres of water dispensed from one on Liverpool Street. That is the equivalent of 16,000 standard plastic bottles of water in the first weeks of use. Another fountain, on Carnaby Street, was used 10,000 times in less than two months.
Mr Nugent said: “It’s about looking at places with high pedestrian footfall where people would be jogging and preventing them from throwing a bottle away into the grass and allowing them to fill up.
“I know people have mentioned the issue of hygiene but in London, they have rolled it out in a number of locations and they are looking at it in other English cities. There is a lot of interest in reducing single-use plastics.”