Where you can take advantage of the free water refill campaign right now
7th February 2018
Following the roll-out of the national campaign to encourage towns and cities to provide free water fill-up points by 2021 - we spoke to two local businesses who are part of the 1,600 network already established.
As reported, the scheme aims to prevent the use of tens of millions of disposable plastic water bottles a year, as part of efforts to curb the "harmful tide of plastic waste" on land and in the seas.
With members of the public asked to use an App on their phone to find the nearest refill point or look out for a special sign in shop windows as the scheme is rolled out. Environmental campaigner and one half of the duo behind water sports centre Ebb & Flo, Vince Weavers, is delighted the scheme is starting to get more publicity.
The 39 year old explained more about why free water stations are a big deal. He said: “The scheme first came to my attention following one of our (Ebb & Flo) beach cleans, we noted the volume of single use plastic bottles.
“Accounting for around 80 per cent of the total waste collected, we felt we needed to do more to reduce and with the aim to eventually eliminate plastic bottles.
“In Summer 2017, my wife Toni Buckle-Weavers and I started Ebb & Flo. Our strap line is ‘A Way Of Living’, primarily for us as it’s a moral obligation.
“We care a great deal about our planet and its future. Secondly, it’s a part of our business ethos to engage directly with the environment that we operate in to help minimise plastic pollution.
“I approached Riverhead Coffee and a number of similar smaller businesses, who are already environmentally aware.
“I’m happy to say that Nic Till, from Riverhead, acted instantly and within 24 hours we were on the App map!
“In my opinion it is logical, it’s about getting people to realise they have a choice.
“We don’t have to purchase expensive bottled water that has been sat on a shelf and transported by road (high carbon emissions) to a shop.
“In the UK we have some of the best quality tap water in the world, it’s piped into almost every house, we use it at home so it makes sense to extend that to our everyday lives.”
Nic Till, owner of Riverhead Coffee, which has branches in Cleethorpes and Grimsby agrees with the scheme and commented: “We have always offered customers filtered water free of charge and late last year, decided to stop buying plastic bottles of water for re-sale due to the environmental impact.
“When Vince and Toni told me about the Refill app, I got straight into it.
“Anyone is welcome to come in to the shop and refill with water.
“This year I plan to drastically cut down our use of disposable plastic and are encouraging customers to either buy ‘Keep-Cups’ from us or bring in their own re-useable coffee cups for takeaway drinks.”
And Vince is keen for Ebb & Flo to be part of the refill scheme too and will be rolling this out in 2018 as a part of their business development plan. It’s something which any business can get involved with regardless of size. You simply register as a provider, which puts your location on the App map - adding to the UK network of easy-access refill points.
The Cleethorpes prom based business are working tirelessly on a number of projects to help address the issue of pollution on a wider scale. Co-owner Toni Buckle-Weavers is the areas’ newest SAS (Surfers Against Sewage) representative.
Community beach cleans are planned throughout the year starting from Ebb & Flo. The beach clean will be under the SAS and #2minutebeachclean banners. All the rubbish collected will be counted, sorted and where possible recycled. All data will be sent to SAS.
“Our vision is to help make Cleethorpes become a plastic free community,” added Vince.
“Finally I am working on a project under the ‘Precious Plastics’ banner to bring to Cleethorpes, a community based recycle centre - read more at www.preciousplastic.com
“Our vision is to bring together the whole community through our various projects in support of our environment.”
How to sign up
Users and businesses can sign up at www.refill.org.uk - the App is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. Businesses can place a sticker in their window to show their support of the scheme.
What is the scheme?
In 2015, the scheme was started in Bristol by Natalie Fee, the founder of City To Sea who was keen to share her vision: “Refill is a national, practical tap water campaign that aims to make refilling your bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by introducing refill points on every street.”
Why carry a bottle with you?
Single-use plastic bottles are expensive to produce, use up valuable natural resources to make and transport and create mountains of waste once discarded.
Recycling is not tackling the problem as in the UK, an estimated 800 plastic bottles a minute are either ending up in landfill or as litter; which often make their way into our waterways and out to sea. By buying a reusable water bottle you will also save yourself money, especially when you have points where you can refill them for free!
Want to know more?
Read more on this here www.sas.org.uk or you can keep up with Ebb & Flo’s progress at www.ebb-flo.co.uk (under their blog section).
News Courtesy: www.humberbusiness.com