AM welcomes plans for free drinking water access

Neil Hamilton AM

NEIL Hamilton, Leader of UKIP Wales and AM for Mid & West Wales has welcomed news that walkers will have access to free drinking water along the Wales Coast path.

Mr Hamilton, Party Spokesman for the Environment, was commenting after Environment Minister, Hannah Blythyn, announced that the 870 mile route was the first location for the roll out of a Refill scheme for Wales.

The plans, which form part of the Welsh Government’s ambition to become the world’s first refill nation, were revealed at an Environmental Summit at the Volvo Ocean Race, in Cardiff, today (Tuesday).

Mr Hamilton said: “Wales is leading the way in recycling and looking after our environment.  I am pleased to see the Welsh Government’s ambitious plans, announced last month, being acted upon.

“Offering the public free access to drinking water along the Wales Coast Path is a good way to help tackle plastic pollution.  People will be able to refill their water bottles at various points along the path so will not need to buy another one. This should significantly reduce the number of plastic bottles being used and ending up as waste or being thrown in the sea.

“I welcome the idea of towns, villages and food and drink outlets being encouraged to become refill points.  It is certainly good news for walkers and for visitors who come to our beautiful country to walk along the coast.

“It is an excellent way of tackling plastic pollution and ultimately, will help the planet.”

The Environment Minister said they will commit to delivering Refill into communities along the Wales Coast Path within the next year.

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Those signed up to this drive,  to decrease use of single use plastics in Wales, will be visible to walkers through window stickers and be listed in a bi-lingual refill app.

The app will provide the public with a list of locations where free drinking water is available making it easier for people to refill their water bottles, without needing to purchase further single use beverages.

The Minister said this was the first step in the Government’s ambition to become the world’s first ‘Refill nation’.

Clare Pillman, Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales, who manage the Wales Coast Path on behalf of the Welsh Government, said NRW is committed to supporting this initiative in order to help protect our fantastic marine environment.

She said: “Taking steps to eliminate avoidable waste will ensure that we manage our limited resources in a better way, which is good for the people, economy and environment of Wales.”

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