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Green Party Pushes for Free Public Drinking Water Points for Local Communities

Green TD Steven Matthews has joined with his party colleagues in calling for the abolition of public water charges to enable access for all to free water drinking points. This call comes on the back of the Green Party Private Members Bill in the Seanad Which if passed, would make it cheaper and easier to install public water refill stations in communities across Wicklow, which are a crucial tool to help us reduce plastic waste.

Speaking in support of the Bill, Deputy Matthews said:

“I am delighted to support my Green Party Colleagues in the Seanad and in particular Senator Róisín Garvey in bringing this bill forward. This is a common-sense approach to reducing the massive levels of plastic waste through single use water bottles which is created on a daily basis in Wicklow and across the country. The access to public water sources will go a long way in eradicating the unnecessary reliance on single use plastic sources as a means of accessing water. It is estimated that over 3 million plastic bottles are purchased in Ireland every day but less than a third of these bottles are recycled. Public water stations which provide free water would not only save people money but would also allow people to use reusable alternatives to plastic bottles.

“There currently exists unavoidable financial barriers for the installation of these facilities due to the costs of accessing the mains. It is the belief of myself and my colleagues that this red tape should be scrapped to make it much easier for local authorities to provide communities with free and sustainable sources of drinking water. We are calling on Uisce Éireann (Formerly Irish Water) to abolish these connection charges altogether.

“This is one of the many examples of the Green Party Leading the way on climate issues. I look forward to seeing accessible free water points in towns and villages across Wicklow very soon,” Concluded Deputy Matthews.



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