The success of getting consumers to reduce, reuse and refill bottled water.

CSIRO Cutting Edge Science and Engineering Symposium, 2019 • Clayton, Victoria Australia


Kathy Willis

PhD student

Talk summary

It is estimated that one million plastic bottles are consumed globally every minute. Bottled water is one sector of the plastic bottle industry that has had rampant growth over the past years. Unfortunately, this consumption of bottle water is coupled with the subsequent littering of bottles by consumers. The carbon emissions generated from bottled water manufacturing alongside bottle litter causes harmful effects on the environment and wildlife. To reduce the harms of bottled water government and non-government organisations have implemented a range of strategies targeting bottled water consumption and its subsequent litter. For example, implementing bottle bans toreduce plastic bottle usage, promoting the benefits of re-using durable drink bottles and providing filtered water stations to refill bottles. Our study analyses the success ofone of these strategies, a water refill station, implemented by an environmental organisation along the Brisbane River, Australia. Our study found plastic bottle litter in the Brisbane River did decrease after a water refill station was implemented. However due to choices in survey design and refill station location, we believe the behaviour
change strategy did not reach its full potential. We highlight and discuss the factors anorganisation needs to consider when designing a behaviour change strategy.

About this talk




On May 27th, 2019


CSIRO Cutting Edge Science and Engineering Symposium, 2019


Clayton, Victoria Australia

Audience size

In front of 45 people