A ‘Fresh Water Top Up Scheme’ has been launched by Visit Inverness Loch Ness (VILN) to provide locals and visitors with free access to tap water when out and about in the area.
An estimated 12.5 million plastic bottles are littered in Scotland each year, according to 2019 research by Zero Waste Scotland.
With the aim of reducing plastic use and waste while ensuring locals and visitors stay hydrated when exploring the natural environment, 30 businesses in Inverness and Loch Ness have signed up to allow anyone to refill their water bottles at their premises.
Participating businesses include An Talla by Loch Ness, The Glen Mhor Hotel & Apartments, Foyers Stores & Waterfall Café, Black BOX Food, Torvean Caravan Park & Lodges, Bazpackers, Moray Park Guest House, Glenkirk Bed & Breakfast, Tomich Holidays, The Lovat Loch Ness Ltd, Triquerta Crafts, Glenview, Best Western Palace Hotel & Spa, Craigdon Mountain Sports Inverness Ltd, Abertarff House, Am-Bothan IV2, Pinewood Steading, Fiddlers Restaurant, Morag’s Lodge, Corner on the Square, Petra Palumbo, Inver Coille Camping & Glamping, The Kemps, Priory Hotel, Eden Court, Loch Ness backpackers lodge, Loch Ness Hub & Travel, Oakvilla Guest House, Kingsmills Hotel and Highland Campervans.
“Plastic waste has repercussions on our environment, so we must collectively reduce our reliance on single use plastic and live more sustainably.
“The introduction of the Fresh Water Top Up Scheme is just one of the ways we can help,” explains Emma Harrison, Destination Development Manager at Visit Inverness Loch Ness.
“Loch Ness is home to some of the best hiking in the world and attracts visitors from far and wide.
“Not only amazing for hiking, Inverness and Loch Ness offer a diverse destination in a stunning, natural landscape.
“As visitors head off on their journeys, it is now much easier to plan where to fill up water bottles and stay hydrated while exploring the area.”
Craig Ewan, Operations Director at Kingsmills Hotel, said:
“We are delighted to be part of this scheme, promoting our quality Highland water and trying to reduce the need for single use plastic.”
An interactive map can be found on the Visit Inverness Loch Ness website, showing users the closest water top up locations.
Stickers will also be on display in the windows of participating shops, restaurants and accommodation providers.
“We’d love to get other businesses around the destination involved in the scheme too, whether they are Visit Inverness Loch Ness members or not!
“If you’re interested in signing up, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org,” added Emma.