Today is National Refill Day (Wednesday 19 June), which campaign Refill is using to raise awareness of its aim to prevent plastic pollution at source by making it easier to reuse and refill bottles on the go.
Pub chains including JD Wetherspoon, Fuller’s and Adnams are involved in the scheme and promote themselves as places for individuals to fill up their water bottles for free – with no pressure to buy anything.
Sites advertise themselves as refill points via the campaign’s app – which has been downloaded more than 100,000 times – and window posters.
Alannah O'Rourke, partnerships manager at City to Sea, which runs campaigns to stop marine plastic pollution at source and operates Refill, explained the benefits for pubs.
She said: “The benefit of pubs signing up is that it is likely to increase their footfall, so people are likely to go in to ask for a refill and then they may end up buying something or having a drink or something to eat.”
Participating in the eco-friendly initiative is a PR boost too. “It has been proven in surveys that people think more highly of a business if they are part of a campaign like this,” O’Rourke added.
“There's no cost to the pub, they don't have to do anything apart from just make sure they are happy and willing to give refills.”
Independent pubs can add themselves as a Refill station on the app and chains can contact the organisation for more information on being involved.
It's not just water bottles! We've just installed am @innuscienceuk system. This enzyme based set of cleaning products is diluted with water. Thus reducing product as it's concentrated = less transport costs, less packaging & we refill our spray bottles! ♻️ #NationalRefillDaypic.twitter.com/QF0ezEoW8p— The Cellar House (@TheCellarHouse) June 20, 2019
Policymakers and consumers are increasingly concerned about the use of single-use plastics. It is estimated that adults in the UK use close to 7.7bn single-use plastic water bottles each year.
City to Sea founder Natalie Fee said: “It’s been incredible to watch the Refill campaign flourish over the past few years.
"National Refill Day is something that everyone can get on board with and has the potential to drastically reduce the amount of unnecessary single-use plastic we use when we’re out and about.
“People want to help prevent plastic pollution, and Refill puts the power to do that in their hands.”