Environment

In fight against plastics, the water fountain makes a comeback

A new water fountain with faucets for refilling bottles was unveiled at Margaret Pace Park Saturday to discourage use of bottled water.
A new water fountain with faucets for refilling bottles was unveiled at Margaret Pace Park Saturday to discourage use of bottled water. VolunteerCleanup.Org

In the war against plastic pollution, an old weapon is being recycled: the water fountain.

On Saturday, Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell and VolunteerCleanup.org unveiled a fountain, now dubbed a “water bottle refill station” at Margaret Pace Park near downtown. The fountain, outfitted with signs including information about bottle pollution, is intended to serve double duty as a source and a message.

“It’s similar to Citibike, but for water!” VolunteerCleanup.org executive director Dara Schoenwald said in an email.

The $3,850 cost was paid for by a grant from the Miami Foundation’s Miami Public Space Challenge, which has now morphed into a bigger project: a partnership with Woosh Water, an Israeli water tech company, to install 25 stations in Miami Beach beginning in the fall, Schoenwald said.

“I wanted to do something about all of the plastic waste we were finding on the shoreline,” she said, pointing out that the popular bayside park provides a perfect launching point.

The fountain is handicap accessible and equipped with two faucets for refilling bottles. And, of course, a hard-to-miss message.

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