Skip to content

Carry a water bottle? Get the Tap app

It can help you find water refills anywhere.

A few months ago, my request to have a reusable water bottle refilled at a burger joint was refused. The manager stepped in and informed me that it was against the health code, that they were not allowed to handle outside containers or bring them into the kitchen, and that I had to purchase a bottle of water or go elsewhere.

The interaction came as a shock, as I'd never before encountered resistance to refill a water bottle. It was also a wakeup call as to why some people might be hesitant to carry a reusable water bottle. Fear of rejection or awkward public debates, like the one I had with the manager in front of other customers, can be intimidating obstacles. And yet, disposable water bottles are a habit that has to change immediately. More than 1 million are purchased every minute worldwide and nearly 80 percent of these end up in landfills and oceans.

That is why knowing exactly where refills are welcome can bring peace of mind and make people more inclined to carry reusable water bottles. Enter the Tap App, a global smartphone app that launched in October 2018 and can tell you exactly where to find refill-friendly spots in the vicinity. Restaurants and cafes in 30 countries have joined the network, created profiles, and appear on the app's map.

“Tap’s Refill Station network is partly made up of partnerships with coffee shops and fast-casual restaurants, while also showing you best public places to refill your water bottle around the world. Whether a drinking fountain or a filtered water ATM, you’ll be sure to find it on Tap.”

Tap app window sticker© Tap (used with permission)

After my unpleasant experience at the burger joint, I know I'm far more inclined to give my business to restaurants that boast about their pro-refill policy – and to stay away from those that do not. Being on the Tap map also clarifies a restaurant's stance on refills to its employees, which would have benefited my encounter at the burger joint. After contacting the head office later on, I discovered the company had no problem with refills, but its manager clearly didn't understand this. It promised to follow up, but I haven't been back since.

You can join the refill movement by downloading the Tap App on your phone and never hesitating to carry a water bottle wherever you go. Take Tap App's pledge to refuse bottled water for 30 days and see if it changes your habits. The more people who get on board with this, the better off we'll all be.

It can help you find water refills anywhere.