Refill Revolution comes to AshfordPosted on 2 July 2019
An exciting Refill Scheme is launching in Ashford which will make it easier for residents and visitors to access free water.
Refill Ashford – which is part of a wider national Refill scheme – will introduce water Refilling Stations across the town centre making it easy, convenient and cheap to refill your water bottle when out and about in Ashford.
The scheme, which is being launched here by Ashford Borough Council on Saturday 6th July, with the installation of a new water bottle filling station in Park Mall, encourages participating cafes, bars, restaurants and other businesses to sign up to the free Refill app and put a sticker in their window alerting passers-by to the fact they’re welcome to fill up their bottle for free.
In total, some 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are bought across the UK each year, resulting in substantial amounts of single-use plastic waste ending up in our oceans.
City to Sea, a not-for-profit organisation headed by campaigner Natalie Fee, launched the award-winning Refill Campaign in 2015. It’s estimated that the scheme, now being rolled out nationwide with support from Water UK and local water companies, will cut plastic bottle use by tens of millions each year, as well as substantially increasing the availability of high-quality drinking water.
Amy Casey, Ashford Borough Council’s Waste and Recycling Education Officer, explains why both businesses and their customers should get involved: “Plastics, including single-use plastic bottles, are now the most frequently found type of litter on UK beaches and you don’t have to look far to find them littering our towns and green spaces too. We’re very excited for the launch event on Saturday 6th July in the town centre, to talk to local residents about the issue.
“South East Water are holding a competition on the day too so you’re in with a chance of winning a Chilly’s bottle! We’ve had nearly 30 businesses sign up so far and to support the scheme further we’ve also had a water bottle filling station installed in Park Mall.”
A council spokesperson for Environment and Land Management said: “Refill Ashford gives us all the opportunity to help make this type of litter a thing of the past at the same time as saving people money. We’re encouraging Ashford residents to attend the event, download the app and start refilling your reusable bottles!”
Refill Ashford builds on the success of Refill around the UK, which now boasts a network of over 15,000 Refill Stations. Of the scheme, Mala Nathan, Refill Regional Coordinator, said: “We know lots of businesses already offer this simple service, but find customers often feel embarrassed or cheeky for asking. By letting people know they can look for Refill stickers or posters and be confident they can refill for free where they find one, Refill Ashford is encouraging more people to take one small step away from relying on single use plastic bottles. It’s a really simple concept with a really big potential result.”
Refill Ashford is encouraging more people to take one small step away from relying on single use plastic bottles. It’s a really simple concept with a really big potential result.Mala Nathan, Refill Regional Coordinator
Emma Goddard, Head of Environment for South East Water, said: “We know from speaking to customers that issues surrounding single-use plastic are a hot topic. The water we supply is extremely high quality and can take as little as two hours to reach customers’ taps after starting its journey at one of our water treatment works.
“Meanwhile, a million plastic bottles are sold every minute around the world – a figure that’s expected to grow by 20% by 2021. This is why we’re proud to support Refill and encourage customers to make the switch from single-use plastic to reusable bottles.”
Find out more about Refill Ashford and how you can take part at www.ashford.gov.uk/the-year-of-the-environment/. Visit the Refill website at www.refill.org.uk to download the free Refill app and find out more about the Refill movement.
More information about the launch event is also available via the Refill Ashford Facebook page.