TapIt, a program to help people fill their bottles with water from shops and restaurants while on the go, has hit Hampton Roads.
Tiffany Wright, with Virginia Beach Public Utilities, says the program allows people to go into participating locations that will fill a bottle brought in with water at no charge.
In Virginia Beach, TapIt is being piloted at the Oceanfront, Town Center, and Hilltop.
"We figured there was a lot of traffic in those areas. A lot of people may be out and about, carrying water bottles and they can just go into those locations and get free refills," Wright said.
TapIt began in 2008 in New York City. It's been popular there and just spread to Hampton Roads this year.
Sweet Temptations Bakery near Town Center is one of the businesses that has partnered up for the free program.
Co-Owner Michelle Herdowsky says the partnership was a no-brainer.
"I was all for it. I think that using reusable water bottles is wonderful," Herdowsky said.
Since it's a new program, Herdowsky says no one has come in yet to take advantage.
"We haven't had anyone come in yet but we are hoping that since it's been so hot, that people will be able to utilize it soon!"
Wright says the program offers both environmental and economic benefits.
"It cuts back on a lot of the plastic waste. Many of the plastic bottles that people use end up in landfills and since plastic isn't biodegradable, those stick around in the landfills for hundreds of years," Wright said. "Also, maybe you don't have cash on you and you can just head into one of these shops and restaurants and get free water."
You can find a list of area shops and restaurants participating in TapIt by clicking here.