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Bristol Water joins the Sugar Smart campaign this summer

Water Bar design

The Sugar Smart Bristol campaign, part of Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation working in partnership with Bristol City Council, has joined Bristol Water and City to Sea to re-launch the award-winning Bristol Water bar, which will be touring local events this summer to serve up thousands of litres of free water.  

The pop-up water bar was created last year as part of Bristol Water’s work with City to Sea’s Refill Bristol campaign to create a network of places where people can refill bottles for free. After picking up the Environmental Innovation of the Year Award at the Bristol and Bath Environment Awards this year, the team has partnered with Sugar Smart Bristol, which is led by Bristol Council in partnership with the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation. The campaign has been enabling people to cut down on the sweet stuff in schools, universities, work places and sports clubs since January.

92% of people in Bristol prefer to drink tap water over bottled water when at home, but this number drops to around 52% when out and about. Most people blame lack of access to tap water as the reason, so the Water Bar offers the chance for thousands of Bristol festivalgoers to refill for free and stay hydrated.

The Water Bar has been designed by Upfest artist SP Zero to highlight messages around drinking tap water and consuming less sweet food, as well as promoting refillable bottles to reduce plastic waste. The bar will be at five Bristol-based events with the Sugar Smart and Refill Bristol teams this summer: Keynsham Festival, Pride, Upfest, Balloon Fiesta and Peaceful Portway. Event-goers are being encouraged to bring their own refillable bottles to stay hydrated, which will also help reduce litter at events and keep the city’s streets clean.

Speaking about the partnership, the Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation, commented: “It’s great news that Bristol Water has joined the Sugar Smart campaign! It’s incredibly important to get the message out that drinking water is really important for long term health. Our bodies need to be hydrated and water is an alternative to sugary sweetened drinks.”

Becky Pollard, Director of Public Health at Bristol City Council, said: “The Sugar Smart campaign has had a positive response, and working with Bristol Water will help us to reach an even wider audience, so we’re delighted to have them on board. It is shocking that children of today are the first generation predicted to live shorter lives than their parents because of diet and inactivity but we’re hoping to challenge that prediction in Bristol.”

Rob Ellis from Bristol Water, said: “The Water Bar, and the partnership with City to Sea, was very successful last year. At last year’s Balloon Fiesta we saved over 15,000 plastic bottles from going to landfill. The partnership with Sugar Smart Bristol is an obvious one, the messages and aims are the same.”

Gus Hoyt, Refill Bristol Programme Manager, said: "It's great to partner-up with Sugar Smart Bristol and our aims are so similar it's only natural that we'd all work together. At the events we’ll be promoting our free Refill app so everyone can find the nearest refill-friendly cafés as easy as possible. You earn rewards while saving money and the environment."