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Published on Thursday 11 August 2022

19,000 single-use plastic bottles have been saved from our waste stream during Plastic-Free-July thanks to BCP Council and City to Sea's "Turning the Tide" project.

This ambitious collaboration saw 150 water refill points revamped and unveiled offering free drinking water along the 15 mile stretch of seafront that included 18 seafront kiosks, over 130 beachfront taps and 15 new decorated "Hydration Stations".

The launch of the project was celebrated with the unveiling of a community art project at the lifeguard building at Durley Chine created by Paintshop, depicting sea life and messages about how refill and reuse can avoid plastic pollution.

The unveiling coincided with live performances every Saturday along the beach front by street artists that inspired and directed visitors and residents to refill from the new water fountains and beach front taps. They also handed out free reusable water bottles to those that needed them making sure no one would go thirsty!

Jane Martin, City to Sea’s Head of Development, said:

"Through Plastic-Free-July we’ve been monitoring the new water Refill points across the seafront in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch and we’ve seen a flood of people refilling their bottles. We now have data from 5 of the 15 newly installed water fountains which shows we have stopped 19,000 single-use plastic bottles from entering our waste stream. This is a huge achievement."

She continued, "Hundreds of people have downloaded the Refill app and we have recorded over 9,000 people using the "Superhero Tap" next to Happy Land. I am delighted to see the team’s hard work paying off already. Going forward no pebble will be left unturned as we work out how we can eliminate plastic pollution from the beach front.

The next step in this project is to get The Seaside Environmental Hub Bournemouth at Durley Chine open and to roll out the innovative ‘Seaside School’ education programme to schools. All of this combined we are sure will see a massive reduction in single-use plastic littered on the beach, saving BCP Council money and, crucially, saving millions of pieces of single-use plastic from entering our waste system".

Local businesses also got involved with the Oceanarium giving one of its external walls over for signage to support the campaign.

Cllr Mark Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Place, said:

"This last month has really shown what can be achieved when the council, civil society and business all work together. With over a million people visiting our seafront in July we are normally inundated with mountains of rubbish.

"But this Plastic-Free-July we’ve managed to make a real dent in this problem, thanks to the 150 hydration stations we’ve put in along the seafront through our partnership with City to Sea.

"This initiative is one of many to reduce litter on the seafront. Last year, we installed extra triple sized bins along the promenade and put in place more daily collections, with manual crews on standby when the locations such as the promenade become busy.

"I want to pay tribute to the many businesses along the seafront who have really got on board with what we are trying to achieve along the seafront and also thank the council beach cleaning teams who work hard to keep our resort tidy.

"This is a community effort that we are proud to be leading."


For more information or to arrange interviews please contact City to Sea’s Media Manager, Lisa Worthington, on or ring 07889 403185

Notes to Editors:

  • High-resolutionphotographs of the project are avialble here. Email Steve Hynd if you have any issues accessing them.
  • About City to Sea:City to Sea is a not-for-profit that campaigns to stop plastic pollution at source. To find out more about City to Sea, please visit
  • About Refill:Refill is an award-winning campaign to help people live with less waste. The campaign connects people to places they can eat, drink and shop without the pointless packaging. Anyone can download the free Refill app to tap into a global network of places to reduce, reuse and refill. From a coffee on your commute, to drinking water on the go, or even shopping with less plastic, Refill puts the power to go packaging free at your fingertips. The app has now been download over 350,000 times and lists over 200,000 Refill Stations around the world.
  • About Turning the Tide project:The Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council (BCP) Turning the Tide project is an ambitious and forwarding thinking approach to tackling local plastic pollution at source. It will have a huge impact on the environmental and financial cost of waste management. Our mission to 2025 is to transform operational and behavioural norms away from single-use to reuse, to develop a leading, low impact destination.

    BCP Council will leverage the opportunity to draw a connection between peoples’ behaviours and the natural environment, inspiring change to protect 15 miles of coastline. The project includes: Systems change by redesigning the choices presented to consumers, weighting refill and reuse over single-use, and making it "easy, attractive, social and timely". Driving behaviour change (adopting proven theories including social practice and behavioural sciences) to change the dominant throwaway culture and establish a new normal. Embedding sustainable behaviours in future generations through an award-winning education programme that inspires environmental guardianship. Showcasing best practice and inspiring visitors by amplifying BCP Council’s message and mission using The Seaside Environmental Hub Bournemouth at Durley Chine as a focal point when it opens Easter 2023.

*The figure of 19,000 bottles is based on data from the newly installed water fountains. A total of 9.5 cubic metres of water was drawn from the first 5 units installed during July, which is the equivalent of 9500 litres. Our calculations are based on converting this amount of water into 500ml bottles.

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