Scots urged to turn to tap to arrest plastic bottle scourge

Scottish Water's "Your Water, Your Life" campaign hopes to make tap water the first choice for people.
Scottish Water's "Your Water, Your Life" campaign hopes to make tap water the first choice for people.
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Scots have been urged to arrest the scourge of plastic waste by carrying reusable bottles to top up on tap water.

With around 15,000 tonnes of plastic bottles sent to landfill each year, a new campaign by Scottish Water is hoping to change how people consume water when out and about.

The publicly owned company said a “positive shift” towards refilling bottles with tap water would have wide-ranging benefits, not least for the environment.

It comes as research from Keep Britain Tidy found that while nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of people in Scotland drink tap water, less than one in three (31 per cent) drink it from a reusable bottle while away from home.

The firm’s “Your Water, Your Life” campaign hopes to make tap water the first choice for people, pointing out that it will also save them money.

Douglas Millican, chief executive of Scottish Water, said: “We’re calling on our five million customers to help us create a positive shift in the way tap water is consumed in Scotland.

“The benefits of topping up with fresh, great tasting Scottish tap water are clear. It’s good for the pocket, good for the environment and good for your health.”

He added: “By prompting Scotland’s water drinkers to refill reusable bottles from the tap, our hope is that more and more people take advantage of the world-class drinking water they have at their fingertips, every day.”

The television and radio advertising campaign, which is being promoted with the nation’s first pop up water bar in Glasgow’s George Square, will also try and encourage employers to proactively offer tap water in their premises.

Scottish Water said it hopes that as a result, inviting staff to use tap water will become “commonplace” in offices across the country.

Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the campaign helped efforts to bring to an end a “throwaway culture.”

She said: “This is a fantastic campaign which fits in with our work to reduce Scotland’s dependence on single use plastic and is raising awareness of the health benefits of drinking more tap water, which is excellent in quality and value.

“We would encourage people to make the switch to reusable bottles if they can as it will help protect the environment and can save money. This campaign also builds on our commitments to tackle our throwaway culture as we are the first part of the UK to commit to a deposit return scheme.”

The initiative has also won the backing of environmental charities, with Keep Scotland Beautiful expressing hope it will help reduce the estimated littering of around 20 million bottles which takes place every year.