7.7 billion plastics bottles are bought across the UK each year, wasting valuable resources and creating an abundance of waste that remain on land or in the sea for over 450 years. The UK recycle only half of the 38.5 million bottles that are used every day, it has been estimated that if we continue at the current rate, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050.
City to Sea, a not-for-profit organisation headed by entrepreneur Natalie Fee, launched the award-winning Refill scheme in 2015, to reduce single-use plastic water bottles. It is supported around the UK and is now an international scheme. Businesses sign up to become Refill stations where people are free to fill up their reusable bottles with water. The Refill app provides a map of those stations so that people know where they can fill up. Good for customers, good for businesses, good for the environment. Refill recently expanded and now includes food, drink and other shopping.
Small change, big benefit
Refill Swindon launched in October 2018. We have been working to grow the scheme locally, with the number of local stations at around 50. This is a simple and practical scheme that everyone can get involved in, making just a small change in our everyday behaviour to collectively make a big difference to the town's plastic use and waste. The scheme is supported around the UK. In Bristol, they have estimated that a swap to refilling rather than buying single-use just once a week per person would reduce plastic bottle consumption by over 20 million a year in just one city! So this can make a huge difference in Swindon!
Safe and healthy
A note on virus transmission: It's important to understand that refilling / reusing can be done safely. Our continued use of plastic is not safe or healthy. For further information, please see the Summer of Refills campaign, and the Refill and COVID-19 sections of the library.
Local stations list
For those of you without access to a smart phone, we have created this list of local Refill stations.
Refreshed expands the Refill campaign beyond just water refills, with a new app to download.
Summer of Refills campaign
Reuse is safe, plastic usage isn't. The Summer of Refills campaign is to get reuse back on the menu.
Refill Swindon was launched in September 2018 at the Swindon Repair Cafe and Free Shop
How well can you do at our plastic pollution quiz?
Treasures From Our Trash
Photography competition aimed to encourage thought on waste and reuse.
If you would like to get involved or sponsor the project, please contact us.