KEEPING hydrated when you visit Douglas Shire just got easier thanks to a map of local water refill locations where you can refill your personal water bottle.
Just in time for summer, the Water Map is an initiative of the Plastic Free Cairns & Douglas Program run by the Boomerang Alliance, Australia’s peak not-for-profit waste organisation.
The network shows where water refill stations for BYO reusable water bottles are located, and includes participating local businesses and Council re-fill points.
Local business can join the map with Port Douglas Yacht Club, Mossman Pool, Daintree Discovery Centre and Turtle Rock Cafe among local locations already listed.
Queensland recently banned certain single-use plastic items, such as straws, cutlery, plates, bowls, polystyrene (foam) cups and containers. Future items for bans are being considered, but single-use plastic water bottles are far from ever being banned.
“It’s one of the most problematic items of single-use plastic,” said Helen Reilly, Coordinator of Plastic Free Cairns and Douglas.
“They are littered often, and even when recycled, they can only be recycled a few times before the plastic is too degraded, and the plastic lids and neckrings just don’t get recycled.”
“By providing infrastructure to refill your own reusable water bottle, we can effectively eliminate the need for these bottles at all.”
Many businesses have already joined Plastic Free Cairns and Douglas, and the program works with them to eliminate key single-use plastic items in favour of reducing and using reusable or compostable alternatives.
Now, the program is calling for more local businesses to help save the Reef by joining the water network. A water refill station may be filtered or sparkling water on tap, a cooler, or even just tap water. Businesses can charge a small fee for refills on tap, and many choose to also free refills to do their bit to improve the accessibility of water.
You can access and join the water bottle refill network for Cairns and Douglas Shire now at www.plasticfreecairns.org/watermap and remember to take your bottle with you next time you’re out and about, knowing this small action is helping to save our reef.