A new smartphone app, called TAP, was created for users to navigate free water resources easily through by tagging their locations. This includes critical details such as to if the water is either filtered, chilled, flavored, or sparkling water.
According to environmentalists, plastic waste will increase so dramatically it might surpass the population of fish by 2050. More than 60 million water bottles get thrown away every day in the United States alone where most end up in landfills or as litter on the nation’s streets. Out of all the trash floating on the ocean’s surface, 90 percent is plastic.
The app uses blue icons with Google Maps to spot where businesses and locations have such refill stations. They are often located at coffee shops and fast-paced--casual restaurants.
Some are specific filtered water systems whereas others are typical drinking fountains all of which the app informs you on when selecting a particular location.
There is also another program in Sonoma County called ‘Take it from the TAP!’ that encourages and educates the usage of local tap water to the members of the community. This includes advocacy on water quality, where our water comes from, health, environmental, and economic benefits that improve by using tap water.
This is implemented in Santa Rosa classrooms where students learn that using TAP doesn’t only save you money; you also contribute to producing less waste. Each student gets a free water bottle after completing the program.
In an interview with Samuel Ian Rosen, a serial entrepreneur, shared his thoughts of this innovation after he recently had spent 5 dollars on an Evian water bottle at the airport.
“Finding water is inconvenient. When I go to Google Map and type ‘water fountain,’ there is nothing. We solve it by building Google Map for water… We are a search engine. We tell you where the water is.” says Rosen.
Several big cities such as Amsterdam, New Delhi, New York, and Los Angeles have the TAP app already implemented. Sonoma County has three so far and it wouldn’t be a surprise if soon there were several more available.
Rosen said they “didn’t have to wait to convince anyone to sign up,” according to Forbes, “It’s for the same right reasons what corporations are doing with sustainability … We have brand ambassadors as young as 10 signing up local businesses. This is a movement.” With social media platforms making this an easy way to share small businesses such as TAP it’s easy to reach more significant audiences.
. Currently there are over 34,000 water stations available through the TAP app where consumers can go refill their water bottles. As TAP is hoping to reduce the waste produced by single-used-plastic through using convenient locations they also are leaning toward having small businesses involved gain more attention and not fly under the radar.