Thanet Green Party’s Steve Roberts: New initiatives to reduce use of single-use plastic water bottles

Steve Roberts shares a town council plan to cut single-use plastic water bottles

Steve Roberts, Thanet Green Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for East Thanet and a town councillor for Broadstairs, shares a Broadstairs & St Peter’s Town Council initiative to reduce the number of overflowing bins seen around our beaches by reducing the need for single-use plastic water bottles:

Overflowing bins are a common sight around our beaches. We have all seen too many of them – full of food containers, drinks cans, single-use plastic water bottles. We all know the main culprits. And we all know what a few seagulls can do with an overflowing bin. It is not a pretty sight.

Single-use plastic water bottles may be the biggest culprit. To combat this, Broadstairs & St Peter’s Town Council is funding an alternative – a water refill station.

The Town Council’s plans for this year include installing at least one in Viking Bay, Broadstairs, this spring, following the example of Margate, where a water fountain was installed on the main sands last summer, with Ramsgate Town Council  also hoping to follow suit this year. All three areas are being supported by Thanet District Council, which will undertake the installation. Initial estimates are that each refill station reduces the number of single-use bottles purchased by between 25,000 and35,000. That is a lot less pressure on our public bins.

The stations also give everyone access to free drinking water, a basic human right.

Southern Water is guilty of many things including regularly dumping sewage in our seas, they discharged sewage 63 times in 2022 for 792 hours. At least we can still drink the tap water.

It may reassure you to know that Southern Water has been prevented from paying a dividend to its shareholders until at least 2025 after a cut to its credit rating, amid a scramble to shore up the finances of the heavily-indebted water industry.

Communities in Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Margate are also promoting the use of Refill, an app which shows cafes, shops and other places offering a free water refill. You can find the app here

I spoke to Jessica Rose, Thanet’s Plastic Free Thanet lead, who said: ”Supporting a culture of reuse and refill over use once and throw away is what Plastic Free Thanet is all about. We’re excited to see this spreading across Thanet with free drinking water fountains. We’re hoping this will make a big difference to the number of single-use plastic bottles finding their way on to our streets and beaches this summer.”

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  1. Spend our council tax on more waste bins ,if you look back over the years Thanet council have supplied only a few new bins
    and when they do they normally TDC remove one from somewhere else.

  2. Whilst I applaud this idea I would disagree with the statement:

    “Single-use plastic water bottles may be the biggest culprit.”

    No, the biggest culprit is the Council’s inability to run an effective waste and recycling service which is hugely exposed during the tourist season for all to see.

    • I don’t know if single use bottles are the main problem but I assume Steve has details. What I do think is important is that it’s better to reduce plastic bottle use than increase bins to take them. Fewer plastic bottles benfit our environment directly but also mean advantages in other areas, less waste to collect and treat and so medium-term financial savings.

      • hi Jenny – not sure if you are a pirate ;-). yes our policy is to reduce waste not have even more bins

  3. Mr Blind Thanet collects the waste, County manages the waste or is meant to.
    The collection service is overwhelmed sometimes when tourists and others overfill the bins.Waste management is a race between the means to process waste and the growing flow of packaging which has expanded multiple times since the war.
    If we stopped using single use plastic and used metal or glass instead waste management and recycling would be easier So Mr Roberts does have a point. I know he is a green but don’t hold that against him.

    • Yeah, must be a concidence that with the loss of drinking fountains people resorted to bottled water, but now we’re going to get what was probably drinking fountain , public tap/shower, dogs watering hole – adapted to be a new fangled bottle illing station. You really have to hope that such blue sky thinking did’nt take up too much of the councils time.

  4. In a small park in a village in Surrey at this moment and they have more bins than Broadstairs in total.
    The private bins in the car park by the Sailing club are overflowing everywhere and have been for days.You can smell the bins 30 metres away.
    What must visitors think.Nothing like putting them off.
    I reported builders buckets,car tyres and 3 mattresses on the A299 Thanet back in November.They are still there!@@

  5. Yes ban all the plastic bottles and have smashed glass laying among the sand and in our public spaces.
    If you really want to do your bit to save the environment don’t use a pen or paper to vote green. They are beyond ridiculous.

    • Why would the glass be smashed?

      And even if they are, they’ll gradually grind back down to the sand that they were made from, with zero negative impact on marine life.

    • I think refillables are the answer Ann. And a deposit scheme on glass bottles always used to work. I think 14 years of Tory rule have shown us how not to vote.

    • I remember all the glass bottles that had refunds if returned, augmented my pocket money very nicely.
      In Germany ‘return for refund’is widespread and not just glass bottles but can and some plastics. Also, at events and festivals it’s used to manage plates and cutlery!
      And you often see some people gathering up this stuff to get the refunds.
      Accordingly there’s very little rubbish comprising these items.
      And it can’t work in the UK, why not?

      • hi Garry, refunds for glass bottles, etc. Great idea, encourages recycling and a way of earning income. My brother in law lives in Germany. Collecting recyclables for refund money is a way kids earn pocket money and some adults use it as a form of income.

  6. Thank you Broadstairs Town Council – reduction of waste is a big part of keeping our town clean. Can I ask if single use plastic bottles get recycled in Broadstairs (or Thanet)?
    Keep up the good work Councillor Steve Roberts and thank you again.

  7. À simple example of reducing stress on the planet. Bottled water is ridiculously expensive and the bottles waste resources and pollute our seas. Many small steps like this combined add up to great I.pacts. Well done RTC, TDC and Thanet Greens. And to The Ramsgate Society who teamed up with RTC to propose a bottle refilling station for Ramsgate.

    • It is also often less healthy than what comes out of the tap as does not have added fluoride. Bottled water is a bit of a con really, selling us what should be free – water- in a plastic bottle. We are just being sold the bottle!

  8. I applaud this latest Green initiative. What are Reform UK’s plans? Perhaps Amelia Randall, Reform’s prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the new Herne Bay & Sandwich constituency can peer into her crystal ball and enlighten us?

    She was outed in the Mail on Sunday (31st March edition) as one of Reform’s ‘rogue candidates’ a psychic tarot card reader & seller of spells on a pornography website, along with other candidates exposed for animal abuse, racism and misogyny. Apparently, Reform denies climate change is an issue, along with such initiatives to protect the environment. Can she also predict the date of the General Election?

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