Brussels Airport has initiated with the plan to install free-water fountains allowing travellers to refill bottles and thereby reduce plastic pollution after calls from an activist group.
The move follows a campaign by the Facebook group “Free Tap Water In Belgium.” The group now calls on travellers to make use of the facility and come with their own bottles rather than accepting free water bottles offered on certain flights or simply buying bottled water.
“We are conditioned to accept anything offered to us ‘for free’ when we travel on holiday, but in 2022 we should now kindly turn down these offers and not accept the plastic bottles simply because they are handed out for free,” the campaign organisers stated.
Belgium is the fourth largest exporter of plastic waste in the world, behind countries with much larger populations: Japan, the US and France.
“Saying no to a water bottle may seem like a small drop in our plastic ocean, but it can inspire others to change their habits and start reducing the insane amount of plastic everywhere.”
Airports and other travel hubs often require water bottles to be emptied before passing through security. For this reason, people often don’t bring their own bottles and instead buy plastic ones after passing through security.
“You couldn’t get through security at Brussels Airport with water, but there was nowhere to fill a bottle,” Free Tap Water In Belgium stated in a press release.