The success of water refill stations reducing single-use plastic bottle litter

Bottled water is one sector of the beverage industry that has recently experienced substantial growth. The littering of plastic water bottles and the carbon emissions produced from bottled water production results in harmful effects on the environment. To reduce the harm of bottled water production and litter, government and non-government organisations have implemented litter abatement and behavioural change strategies targeting bottled water consumption and subsequent loss of bottles to the environment. Our study evaluated the success of one of these strategies, which is a filtered water refill station, implemented along the Brisbane River in Queensland, Australia. We found plastic bottle litter decreased after a water refill station was put into operation. However, given the location of the refill station, we suggest the behavioural change strategy employed did not reach its full potential. We highlight factors that could be employed to achieve maximum benefits when implementing similar behavioural change strategies.

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