Thirsty? The first lesson received by a visitor arriving in Mexico City, is that you cannot drink tap water. As a result, Mexico’s plastic water bottle consumption is one of the highest per capita. According to Greenpeace, only about half of the bottles are recycled and the consumer pays 5,000% more for the product just for the cost of the container. Two DJs are trying to change this. With their company Smart Filter they sell and install Elkay water fountains, bottle fillers and 3M filtration products.
IMPACT ON MEXICO’S DRINKING WATER CULTURE
Co-founder Edward Lugo: ‘Me and another co-founder are DJs. We have actually provided free water systems for water festivals and taken a 2 hour break to go play a set; so we like to connect ventures and be artistic with everything we do.’
Edward Lugo tells us his family has been involved in water treatment in Mexico for over 50 years. He explains: ‘Our dream is to have an impact of Mexico’s drinking water culture so we can stop being one of the main consumers per capita of plastic in the world’. Therefore, with Smart Filter he wants to install as many filters and water fountains as possible and then find ways to map and have users find the stations. Mapping stations can be done with one of the many refill app.
MORE AND MORE WATER FOUNTAINS IN MEXICO
We believe Smart Filter has an interesting approach. Mexico still has a long way to go, but every step counts. Official numbers are missing, but public water fountains are emerging in gyms, universities, massive events, office buildings, parks and hotels. Locals with a sustainability mindset are starting to carry a refillable bottle with them on the streets. We hope more will follow their example!
GET IN TOUCH
Smart Filter is based in Mexico City, a metropole with nine million inhabitants. They are a division of Lawsco, a big water treatment company in Mexico. Do you want to learn more about Smart Filter? Check out their website or get in touch with Edward Lugo.
Around the world, there are thousands public drinking fountains. Refill your bottle during your citytrip, walk in the dunes or weekly workout.Free fresh water, no plastic needed! We love public fountains.But they can be hard to spot. It’s like searching for an ATM machine: when you really need them, you cannot find any. We know a solution: use the free water refill app Closca or mymizu.
WHERE DO I FIND PUBLIC FOUNTAINS?
Use your phone to locate an increasing number of public water fountains around the world! Water refill apps are free to use. We recommend you to use Closca and mymizu, as they cover the largest number of refill points, including many public fountains. We see many similarities between Closca and mymizu. Both apps work with user-feedback: you can suggest new refill stations (including public fountains) through the app.
Closca Water app started in June 2019, and lists >200.000 refill stations worldwide. The app works with a reward system, you collect points when refilling. Download Closca here.
mymizu was launched in September 2019. The app now displays almost 200.000 refill stations around the world. Download mymizu here.
WHO TAKES CARE OF PUBLIC DRINKING FOUNTAINS?
Who is responsible for the water fountains? How are they maintained? Who decides where to place new fountains? This really differs per country. We can only speak for the Netherlands. Here, drinking water is supplied by ten different public water system companies. These companies facilitate and maintain our public drinking fountains. For example Waternet provides the water fountains in the Amsterdam region, Evides in Rotterdam, etc. Sometimes this is done in collaboration with organisations like Join the Pipe.
PUBLIC DRINKING FOUNTAINS IN THE NETHERLANDS
Besides the apps Closca and mymizu, public fountains in the Netherlands are also mapped on the website Drinkwaterkaart.nl. The website (in Dutch) also displays free “pee-places” and “free-swimming-spots”.
Public water fountains in general are safe but they seem to suffer from an image problem. We think this is unfair. Just make sure to double check in areas where tap water is non-potable. To prevent bacteria/virusus from spreading, you can use some clothing when pressing the button.
What if there are no public fountains in your area? Try to refill your bottle in a bar, restaurant, shop. Don’t be shy, just ask!