A public water fountain has been installed in Penzance to further tackle plastic waste as well as provide access to safe and free drinking water on the go.

Penzance Council, in partnership with Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Our Only World, has erected the fountain outside the Wherrytown public toilet next door to the Wherrytown Skateboard Plaza. 

The authority has been working closely with Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Our Only World to get the fountain installed ahead of the Easter holidays when more people will be heading out to enjoy, what we hope will be, warmer and drier weather.

Wherrytown water fountain ( )

Cllr Stephen Reynolds, the mayor of Penzance, said: “It’s been a great team effort to get this fountain up and running, but well worth it.

“Not only is it a great fit for our status as a plastic free community, it’s also perfectly placed for users of the skatepark and coastal path. If this trial installation is successful, it has the potential for further options to be explored across the parish in the future.”

Penzance became the first town in the UK in 2017 to achieve the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Coastline status. 

The focus of Plastic Free Communities is not about removing all plastic from peoples’ lives, it’s about stopping their reliance on throw away single-use plastic like drinks bottles.

Penzance Council has worked closely with Plastic Free Penzance ever since to continue working towards minimising the town’s contribution to plastic pollution.

Refill PZ, a collaboration between Plastic Free Penzance, Sustainable Penzance and Penzance Council was launched in May 2021 to give locals and visitors to Penzance an easy and immediate way to avoid single-use plastic. 

The scheme forms an important element of the council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan and its Strategic Plan. Whilst many businesses signed up to provide water refills, there wasn’t a water fountain that the public could access around the clock.

Community engagement officer Katie Bellman, said: “Cornwall Wildlife Trust is proud to be part of this huge collaborative effort within the Penzance community.

“This water refill station is an important step to making Penzance an environmentally resilient and sustainable town, reducing plastic waste and pollution entering our oceans. 

“It also forms part of CWT’s Mounts Bay Marine Trail where locals and visitors can experience the iconic coast path of Mounts Bay between Newlyn and Marazion, discover interactive features, and find out about the wildlife, history and stories of the bay. More information is available on our website.

“We’d like to thank Penzance Council for all their support, funding and co-ordination of this fantastic project and we hope to see more stations popping up around the Mounts Bay area.”