Businesses tap in to help the environment
Posted on: 15 December 2017
Community minded businesses, such as cafes and shops, are being encouraged to join a growing movement to help the environment.
The concept is simple. Reduce the number of plastic bottles being thrown away by inviting people to re-fill their water bottles with tap water for free.
It’s a win-win; good for the environment; good for people’s health, to hydrate with water rather than sugary drinks; and good PR for the businesses and charities that open their doors to thirsty passers-by.
What began as a local campaign in Bude, Refill now has attracted national appeal with a diverse range of businesses across UK towns and cities volunteering as Refill Stations.
Refill Devon, the county’s campaign, began last year, and participants are steadily growing in number. From cafes and restaurants to phone shops, garden centres and estate agents, the diversity of businesses taking part is broad as more outlets ‘tap’ in.
All the businesses need to do is display a round, blue Refill sticker in their front window, and allow thirsty folk in to refill their plastic bottle. Simple. There’s an app to support the campaign, to inform people of the location of participating businesses.
It’s estimated that in the UK 800 plastic bottles per minute end up being disposed of as litter, and all too often make their way into our waterways and out to sea.
Devon County Council, South West Water and Beach Care, which is part of the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, are promoting and funding Refill Devon.
The Council recently gave its commitment to support initiatives that aim to reduce use of single-use plastic bottles because of their damaging impact on the environment, specifically coastlines.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for recycling, said:
“It’s a great campaign. We’ve been supporting Refill Devon for some time and I’m delighted by how welcomed it’s been greeted by Devon businesses. So far we’ve got around 140 Refill Stations, but we’re keen to see more, especially in areas where there are gaps.
“There are clear benefits for everyone, for the participating businesses as well as the public. And because it’s free and so simple for participants to opt in, or opt out if it turns out not to be their thing, we’re saying to businesses, just give it a go.”
Croyde’s Billy Budd pub and restaurant was one of the first Refill Stations in Devon. Their Manager, Sam Marley, says:
“We are currently working with Surfers against Sewage and other businesses in the area in an attempt to make North Devon’s coastline plastic free. People are becoming more aware of the long term effects of plastics on the environment and the Refill Devon campaign is a great way of getting the public to reuse their water bottles. The Refill stickers get noticed frequently and it’s great to be a part of the campaign.”
Ian Jarman, the owner of Number 11 Café in Uffculme, said:
“This initiative is a win win. Refill supports the community, helps the environment and brings potential customers into the business at minimal cost.”
To find out more about Refill Devon visit the Recycle Devon website. Here you will find details of how to download the app, how to become a Refill Station and how you can register your interest to become a Refill Devon volunteer.
Posted in: Business and Economy | Community | DCC Homepage | Environment