Free drinking water refilling points aim to cut plastic waste in Somerset

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A woman in a red coat filling up a metal water bottle at a stand
Image caption,
Councillor Dixie Darch was the among the first to try out the water refilling point on Minehead seafront

Free drinking water refilling stations are being installed in three towns in Somerset to help reduce single-use plastic waste.

It is hoped the measure will encourage people to refill bottles instead of disposing of them and buying more.

One water point has been installed and opened on Minehead seafront by Somerset West and Taunton Council, Somerset County Council and Wessex Water.

It will be followed by refilling stations in Wellington and Taunton.

Image caption,
It is hoped visitors, local businesses and residents will be able to benefit from the seafront water station

Reducing single-use plastic locally was key, councillor Dixie Darch, Liberal Democrat, climate change portfolio holder for Somerset West and Taunton council, said.

"Plastic can only be recycled so many times, and there's a carbon cost to that recycling - it takes energy - so any opportunity to reduce your single-use plastics is a big gain for the environment," she added.

Wellington High Street and Taunton High Street have had water refilling points installed and are undergoing water quality testing before they can be used by the public.