Scotland News

Bringing back the drinking fountain.

Published on December 16, 2019


  • In October 2018, Top up Taps – public drinking fountains – are rolled out across Scotland
  • 10 taps are set up: Fort William, Oban, Milngavie, Buchanan Street in Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Dunfermline, Dumfries and Edinburgh.
  • In less than one year, Scottish residents drank the equivalent of 90,000 330ml plastic bottles from the Taps.
  • In August 2019, what started out as a pilot project is greenlighted for expansion to push the total number of Top Up Taps to 70.



  • Scotland is buckling under excessive plastic waste, including plastic bottles, costing £11 million per year.
  • This despite the fact that almost 2/3 of residents in Scotland prefer tap water.
  • There are also health concerns: sugary drinks are fierce competitors to the good old H2o.
  • Public water fountains are nothing new: they predate running water in homes. But they have fallen into disuse.
  • Various cities are bringing them back with vigour. Amsterdam, to name but one, launched its plan in 2015, with plans in 2018 to introduce 300 additional spots.



  • The policy choice and design is part of the Scottish Government’s programme of 2018-2019, which includes investment of around £600 million into water infrastructure
  • The infrastructure is implemented by Scottish Water






Want to join
the discussion?
Let us know what
you would like
to write about!