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Festival-goers reminded to bring a bottle for free water refills

People heading to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta this week are being reminded to bring a refillable bottle to benefit from free water available at the Bristol Water Bar.

The award-winning bar, which this year highlights messaging about cutting down on sugar, has been touring local events since May giving festival-goers access to free water as an alternative to sugary drinks.

The pop-up water bar was created last year as part of Bristol Water’s work with City to Sea’s Refill Bristol initiative 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 initiative has been enabling people to cut down on the sweet stuff in schools, universities, work places and sports clubs since January.

The Water Bar has already served up thousands of litres of free water this summer, as the bar made an appearance at Keynsham Festival, Pride and Upfest. It will now appear at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta as well as the Peaceful Portway event in September.

Rob Ellis from Bristol Water, said: “The partnership with Sugar Smart Bristol is an obvious one, the messages and aims are the same and the new-look Water Bar has been very well received so far. At last year’s Balloon Fiesta we saved over 15,000 plastic bottles from going to landfill and we hope to exceed that this year.”

Cllr Asher Craig, Cabinet Member for Communities, including Public Health, said: “We all know that drinking water is better than drinking sugary drinks, and it’s also cheaper, so I’d encourage festival-goers to have a refillable bottle on hand for the events.”

Speaking about the partnership, a spokesperson for the Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation, commented: “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.”

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’ve been promoting our free Refill app so everyone can find the nearest refill-friendly cafés as easily as possible. You earn rewards while saving money and the environment."

For more information about the Bristol Water bar visit https://www.bristolwater.co.uk/about-us/our-campaigns/water-bar/