The nationwide scheme hopes to help people make the switch from single-use plastic bottles to tap water instead
Single-use plastic bottles are one of the main contributors to the planet’s growing crisis of plastic waste . The UK gets through 35 million plastic bottles every day and up to 13 billion every year - it’s a staggering couple of stats - however, a national drinking scheme from Water UK is aiming to make a sizeable reduction to this number by introducing free water-refill points across the country.
Through the campaign's ‘Refill’ app, members of the public will be able to search for their nearest fountains and water-refill points no matter where they are in the UK.
Encouraging us to make the switch to tap water , the ‘fill up for free’ scheme has already been running in Bristol since 2015 thanks to an organisation called City to Sea. “It's about making people realise that they don't have to buy expensive bottles of water that have quite often been sat on the shelves for some time and that have been transported, so there's all the costs associated with carbon emissions,” said the company’s founder, Natalie Fee. “We've got some of the finest tap water in the world , extremely good quality water, and so the campaign is really about helping people fall back in love with it.”
The first company to sign up for the scheme was Whitbread plc, which owns Costa Coffee and Premier Inn. It will start introducing refill stations in all of its branches this year.
Neal’s Yard Remedies also just announced yesterday that they’ve partnered with City to Sea, to become the first high street chain to roll out free water refill stations nationally in support of the Refill campaign. Previously, the organic health and beauty brand had championed the banning of plastic microbeads in the UK which finally came into effect earlier this year.
Louise Green, Head of Sustainability at Neal’s Yard Remedies said: “We already have sink stations with taps on the shop floor of many of our stores so it made sense to allow people to fill up when they drop by. We want to offer people a convenient way to stay hydrated so they don’t need to keep buying plastic bottles and contribute to the global issues around plastic waste.” You can find your closest Neal’s Yard Remedies refill station by looking for the Refill logo in the store window, downloading the Refill app or visiting Neal’s Yard Remedies’ website.
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