Sarasota County recently took a big step in reducing the volume of single-use plastics generated locally each day, installing 16 water bottle filling stations at various county sites.
The installations were part of the County’s commitment to developing strategies for the reduction of single-use plastics. Managers and key representatives from four Sarasota County departments—UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability; Solid Waste; Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources; and General Services—met as a committee to discuss the issue of single-use plastics in the county and evaluate current programs to reduce plastics in their program areas and across the organization.
The committee recommended the installation of 15 water station retrofits and one new station at a variety of high-traffic County locations, including parks, libraries, and administration buildings, including:
- Nokomis Community Park,
- Laurel Park,
- Englewood Sports Complex,
- Celery Fields,
- Phillippi Estate Park,
- Rothenbach Park,
- Ted Sperling Kayak Launch, and
- Osprey Library.
With the filling station installations, County leaders aim to:
- Encourage usage of reusable water bottles and increase educational efforts for County staff, residents, businesses, and youth members of our community.
- Increase awareness of the issue of plastics pollution in our environment by providing easier drinking water access at County beach, park, library and office locations.
- Reduce single-use plastic water bottle use and disposal at high-traffic areas.