Manly Council was the first council in Australia to provide filtered water refill stations to the general public for drinking and refilling bottles. Their aim was to combat climate change and decrease their impact on the environment by reducing the consumption of bottled water and its associated plastic water bottle waste in their community.

To achieve this, Manly Council set out to encourage its residents and visitors to reuse and refill their water bottles instead of discarding them and purchasing new ones.

The Filtered Water Refill Stations were a practical and deliverable solution that the council could easily implement. With an existing network of water supply pipes and drinking fountains, incorporating the Filtered Water Refill Stations was a simple way the Council could demonstrate their commitment to helping the environment.

Former Mayor of Manly – Dr Peter Macdonald stated: “From the point of production to their ultimate disposal, water bottles have a significantly negative impact on our environment. The production, transportation, refrigeration and disposal of water bottles is a massive waste of our natural resources and leads to excessive greenhouse gas emissions; not to mention the obvious pollution they create in our local environment.”

Research done by Manly Council found that 75% of containers in the waste stream were water bottles. Not only is their waste an issue, according to the Department of Environment and Climate Change, each litre bottle of water takes 200mL of oil to produce, package, transport and refrigerate. As a result, at least 50 million litres of oil is used in the manufacture and distribution of bottled water in Australia every year.

Since the implementation of 6 Filtered Water Refill Stations, Manly Council have estimated that they have prevented 150,000 litres of water from being purchased. This equates to approximately 250,000 plastic water bottles they have stopped entering the waste stream. Due to the success of this initiative, the Council has implemented an ongoing program to provide more Filtered Water Refill Stations in their local area.

Manly Council are currently in the process of installing 10 aquafil Filtered Water Refill Stations along the Manly beachfront. Manly Council have been proactive in creating a better environment today, for a more sustainable tomorrow…

It also encourages other Councils, Governments and communities to implement the same initiative for a better future.