Five years of Refill and seven stations later
This World Refill Day (16 June 2023), Guernsey Water is celebrating five years since the refill scheme was introduced on Island, and two years since the opening of its first permanent refill station at the Liberation Monument.
Over 20,000 litres of water have been dispensed from these permanent stations which are estimated to have saved approximately 40,000 500ml single-use plastic bottles, which would otherwise have ended up in the island's waste streams or local environment.
Around 60 local businesses have signed up to offer free tap water refills through Refill Guernsey, an initiative led by volunteers from Plastic Free Guernsey, since it was launched in 2018.
Destiny Hollyer-Hill was just 11 years-old when she presented the refill scheme to the States of Guernsey's Environment & Infrastructure Committee having campaigned for better refill options since the age of 10.
"Six years ago, when I first asked for my reusable bottle to be refilled at a beach kiosk I had no idea that it would lead to over 60 refill points in 2023.
"I wrote to about 100 businesses and actually went and asked a lot of them in person. Guernsey Water, Plastic Free Guernsey and Guernsey Waste have been amazing right from the start and my big wish at ten years old was to have the stand alone refill points, and that came true because of Guernsey Water in 2021.
"I love seeing them about being used and the other day saw a queue of cubs or scouts at the Cobo one and felt really chuffed.
"It's fantastic that Guernsey is right up there with the rest of the world to reduce plastic use."
Guernsey Water's permanent refill stations can be found across the island at the following locations:
- Liberation Monument, St Peter Port
- KGV sports ground
- Millennium Walk at St Saviour's Reservoir (Les Annevilles entrance)
- Cobo Bay (alongside the public toilets)
- Portelet (between the kiosk and slipway)
- The Bathing pools (alongside the bike park)
- Bordeaux (alongside the kiosk)
The stations, and wider scheme, aim to make it easier for people to choose the public water supply and reduce single-use plastic bottle waste.
Alex Kosmas from the Health Improvement Commission said: "It is really encouraging to see the additional refill stations that have been installed by Guernsey Water across the island. Such initiatives support our community to be able to drink water as it is freely accessible, available, and appealing. The locations chosen are hotspots for our families, children and also for tourists. During key events such as the Island Games, when we experience an influx of people from other places, everyone will benefit from these new installations.
"This work supports the projects we have been carrying out across early years, schools, sports clubs and States settings, as water is the main and healthiest option for all to hydrate."
To ensure continued water quality, the water available from the refill stations is tested regularly by Guernsey Water technicians.