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Businesses urged to open their doors for Festival water refills

18 July 2022
Local businesses are being encouraged to pledge their support for a drive to reduce the use of single use plastics by signing up to the Refillution campaign, particularly during Derry's Foyle Maritime Festival.
The Festival this year has a strong environmental focus with the theme 'What Lies Beneath' exploring the role we all have in the protection and conservation of our marine life.
Water refill stations will be available throughout the Festival site from July 20-24, and people are encouraged to refill their own bottles rather than purchasing multiple plastics at the event. Local businesses can support the campaign by allowing visitors to access water taps in their business premises, making it even more accessible and raising awareness about the campaign.
Waste and Recycling Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Julie Hannaway, explained more. "Council has been supporting the Refillution campaign for a number of years now and a lot of our local businesses have signed up to supporting our efforts to significantly reduce the amount of single use plastics in our Council area. The Foyle Maritime Festival shines a spotlight on our beautiful River Foyle, and the need to conserve our rivers and waterways, so this is the perfect opportunity to drive home the message that we all need to do more.
"I hope that lots more local businesses will see the benefits of opening their doors to anyone who needs to fill up on water, helping to reduce waste and also to reduce costs for families at a very challenging time in terms of managing budgets. If we all introduce small changes to our lifestyles and work together to make environmentally friendly choices the easier options, then we can make a difference."
Northern Ireland uses 145 million single use plastic bottles every year. By switching to a reusable bottle, people can help turn the tide in helping to reduce plastic waste. Our drinking water is 99% pure and we want everyone to benefit from it.
Angela Halpenny, Northern Ireland Water Head of Environmental Regulation says: "We are delighted that Derry City and Strabane District Council are supporting our campaign, encouraging everyone to switch to refilling a reusable water bottle from the tap. The water industry has a strong focus on the environment and we are committed to tackling the problems caused by plastic bottles which block up our rivers and drains, and pollute our seas."
Everyone attending the Foyle Maritime Festival will also be asked to Take the Pledge, a campaign to encourage everyone to introduce small changes into their lifestyle that will have a big impact on the environment. Even young children are being encouraged to play their part with a special message in the 'City to Sea' workshop about turning off the tap when cleaning your teeth. A special artwork representing the ethos of the festival theme 'What lies Beneath' will be created from recycled materials during real time throughout the festival, inspiring a call to action for everyone to do something positive to help save our planet by scanning a QR code alongside it and committing to making a change.
For more information about the campaign visit www.niwater.com/refillution/ and to find out more about the Foyle Maritime Festival go to foylemaritime.com