Green Party Councillor is calling for the introduction of public drinking water fonts and claims that it will cut down on plastic waste and improve public health.
Green Party Councillor Malcolm Noonan is promoting the idea of supplying public drinking water fonts and bottle refill fonts in public areas in Kilkenny City.
He claims that it will cut down on the massive proliferation of plastic waste that is growing year on year, reduce waste to landfill and provide a healthy cheap alternative to locals and tourists to buying expensive bottled water which he claims is in some cases of dubious quality.
“I first proposed this about two years ago when I called on Kilkenny County Council to revisit some elements of the design of the Parade and Canal Square; which at the time I felt were in need of reconsideration in relation to seating and the provision of a chess playing area’ said Cllr Noonan.
“Now I feel that this is an idea whose time has come. We are experiencing an explosion in the amount of ‘one use’ plastic being consumed and disposed of. With the opening of two new incinerators in Ireland I believe that despite our best efforts to recycle, most of this plastic will end up being burned,” he said.
Cllr Noonan is proposing that Kilkennny County Council provide two public drinking water fonts and one water bottle refill font in public areas; on the Parade and Canal Square. He said that municipal water could be piped into the receptacles where it is filtered further at the source for people to drink for free. He said that such an initiative would be welcomed by the public, particularly families who spend a lot of money on bottled water for school going children but also by tourists who are used to these facilities in their own countries.
“I mooted the idea on social media and it was very well received and I believe it would be by the general public. I also think that it would be a positive goodwill gesture by Irish Water to provide the facilities to local authorities for free and endorse the notion that water is a public common resource, not a commodity to be exploited by drinks companies’ he said.
Cllr Noonan said that he intends to bring a more detailed proposal to Kilkenny Municipal District Council in September but that he hoped his proposal would receive full support.