FREE public access to drinking water will be available at key communities along the Wales Coast Path under Welsh Government plans to reduce single-use plastics.

Addressing an environmental summit at the Volvo Ocean Race today, Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn will name the 870-mile Wales Coast Path as the first location for the roll out of a refill scheme for Wales as part of the Welsh Government’s ambition to become the world’s first refill nation.

The Minister will commit to delivering Refill into communities along the Wales Coast Path within the next year.

The Welsh Government will work with towns, villages and food and drink businesses to sign up to become refill points. Those signed up to this drive will be visible to walkers through window stickers and be listed in a bi-lingual refill app.

The app will provide the public with a list of locations where free drinking water is available making it easier for people to refill their water bottles without needing to purchase further single-use beverages.

In a further bid to improve the management of plastic waste, the Minister also said that the £6.5 million Circular Economy Capital Investment Fund would be prioritised on the recycling of plastics.

The fund will help Welsh businesses manufacturing plastic products to increase the recycled content of their products, keeping resources in circulation locally instead of being exported for recycling elsewhere, used as a fuel or ending up in landfill.

Ms Blythyn said: “Wales is the first country in the world to have a dedicated footpath that stretches the entire coastline and we as a government are very much looking forward to working with the communities along these 870 glorious miles to curb the use of single use plastic.

“This is just the first step in our ambition to become the world’s first ‘Refill nation’. More refill points along our coast will help reduce the number of plastic bottles ending up in the sea, which can have a devastating effect on our marine environment.”