Under the Zero Waste Tisza River cleanup program with funding from The Coca-Cola Foundation, safe water access point goes to Ukraine

The Zero Waste Tisza River program was established by Plastic Cup, the National Water Directorate General, with funding from The Coca-Cola Foundation in 2019 and aims to remove plastic waste from the river. The latest result of the project is a water purification container that will soon be performing its useful functions in Transcarpathia and will be on display in Budapest in June. Besides other functions, the aim of the Safe Water Access Point (SWAP) is to provide drinking water of sufficient quality from rivers in places where this is not possible due to the lack of utility services.

Thanks to a trilateral cooperation, the water of the Tisza river are getting cleaner

In the Zero-Waste Tisza River Program, Plastic Cup, the National Water Directorate General and Coca-Cola Hungary, with funding from The Coca-Cola Foundation, have been working together for four years to protect the ecology of the Tisza and its tributaries and clean up the river. Since 2019, volunteers, including employees of Coca-Cola Hungary have helped to remove more than 100 tons of waste from the river and have contributed to the development of waste management in Transcarpathia.

"Several technological developments have contributed to the success of the Zero Waste Tisza River Program, including GPS-based tracking which helps to map the path and extent of the waste in the river more effectively. Our first River Rescue Centre was built next to the Kisköre Water Steps, where river waste is sorted and prepared for recycling. Finally, a prominent example of the latter is the Plastic Boat built from river plastic"pointed out Miklós Gyalai-Korpos, Plastic Cup project coordinator.

The Coca-Cola Foundation - the global charity of The Coca-Cola Company - has supported the Plastic Cup's operator, Association since 2019, in the framework of the Zero Waste Tisza River program. "The project continues for a third year to  to clean up the river. In addition, around 200 Coca-Cola Hungary employees have joined the project as volunteers on 6 occasions so far, freeing the Tisza and its environment from more than 100 tons of waste since 2019", said Judit Szalóky Tóth, Head of Corporate Relations, Communications and Sustainability at Coca-Cola Hungary.

Safe water access point for drinking water of sufficient quality from rivers

The Safe Water Access Point is a novelty in Europe and worldwide, combining technological innovation with community features. The container contains a water purification unit that can supply drinking water from natural water sources, rivers and streams, in accordance with the Hungarian standard. The water purification device was unveiled last September at Lake Tisza, where project participants had the opportunity to taste the pure drinking water of the Tisza. In order to protect the cleanliness of rivers, the new container will also serve as a collection point for plastic and recyclable waste, which is important in areas where separate waste collection and waste shipment are not available. In Ukraine, at the source of the Tisza River, a lot of plastic waste is discharged into the river due to the lack of public services - the container addresses this challenge and also play an awareness-raising role about the importance of clean rivers.

How the container was made 
The Termé Association made a short film about the unique initiative and future plans.

Sanitation and community space function

The Safe Water Access Point also serves a community function by helping people use clean water every day with showers, kitchenette and washing machine. The container, which was built using mainly recycled materials, and the water purification equipment developed by Budapest Hydro Ltd. will be open to the public from June at the Csepel site of the development's professional partner, Budapest Waterworks, by appointment. The organisers are inviting applications for the demonstrations at [email protected]. In July, the container will be transported to Transcarpathia, Ukraine to provide potable water for the local population.