Sipple Hydration Stations - a new refillable water option for people to get chilled, purified, twice filtered still or sparkling water on the move - are being trialled at Southern Co-op stores in Reigate and Romsey.
Southern Co-op, which runs the two Co-operative Food stores in London Road and at the petrol station in Winchester Hill, hopes the Sipple Hydration Stations will encourage more people to carry a reusable bottle and offer a more environmentally responsible solution.
The Sipple Hydration Station is water without the waste with each vending machine offering the option of free tap water or to pay to upgrade to still or sparkling water which is UV purified, twice filtered and super chilled. Upgrades cost between 50p and 80p and are available in options from 450ml to one litre.
For customers who forget their bottle, a Chilly’s bottle is available to buy straight from the hydration station.
There are even touch free options available as people can scan a QR code and order via a smartphone.
Michelle Birch, Southern Co-op’s food to gGo specialist, said: “Currently all Co-op own brand water bottles are made out of 100% recycled material and are fully recyclable. However, we also need to support our customers on their journey away from avoidable single-use plastics and towards more durable reusable options.
“We have started with Reigate and Romsey as both locations are used by people travelling by car or train and in need of a water top up. This trial will hopefully give us a better understanding of the benefits compared with any broader environmental aspects, such as energy usage of each machine, before we consider rolling it out further.”
According to Sipple, there is strong evidence that greater availability of tap/filtered drinking water facilities would increase uptake of reusable water bottles across the UK, with 69% indicating it would make them likely to use a reusable bottle.
The Sipple Hydration Stations are already stocked in a number of locations including motorway services, hospitals, bus and train stations.
The hydration station features a recessed dispensing tap UV-C treated to remove the possibility of cross contamination, as people are unable to reach/touch the dispensing tap by hand. There is also a lifetime anti-microbial coating applied to all touch points, the interactive touch screen and water droplet bottle placement area.