Refill Crawley is on a mission to make refilling your water bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible, by introducing Refill Stations on every street. An exciting Refill Scheme has launched in Crawley which encourages participating cafes, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums 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.
The average adult buys more than 3 plastic water bottles every week* - a startling 175 bottles every year per person. 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. If the environment is not a top priority, many reports have shown that multiple forms of plastics are carcinogens. Furthermore, the WWF have conducted a study that has shown that we ingest around a credit card’s worth of plastic every single week.
The Water Refill scheme not only helps the environment, but the general public. A worryingly large number of people still do not understand the importance of water and the effects dehydration has on the human health. So the Refill Scheme helps to promote easy access to this necessity and therefore encourages people, including the homeless, to stay hydrated.
This Scheme will be a huge asset in helping the homeless as many of them do not have enough money to consecutively buy water bottles and are unaware of the dangerous effects of dehydration, especially in the summer.
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.
NCS, an organisation who are supporting the launch of Refill Crawley, explain why both businesses and their customers should get involved:
“Here in Crawley we’re rightly proud of the area’s green spaces. 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.”
They added, “Refill Crawley gives us all the opportunity to help make this type of litter a thing of the past at the same time as saving money. It’s good business sense as well, as customers view businesses that provide free water refills more favourably and are more likely to return to them to make future purchases.”
Team One of Wave One from NCS has taken up the task of advertising the Refill Scheme and helping to set up new stations around the town centre. On Wednesday the 17th of July, the group did a briefing of the project to local people and businesses, including Crawley Open House and the Mayor and Mayoress of Crawley. At the end of the presentation the Mayor exclaimed that he is ‘the group’s biggest fan’. He is willing to help the scheme and anyone who would like to get involved.
Furthermore the MP of Crawley, Henry Smith, is keen on helping the Scheme lift off of the ground in Crawley and to help reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean and clean up the environment.
Refill Crawley builds on the success of Refill around the UK, which now boasts a network of over 200,000 Refill Stations. Mala Nathan, Refill Regional Coordinator, says “Every time we refill a re-useable bottle instead of buying and throwing away a single-use bottle we not only reduce the amount of plastic and fuel being used, we save a bit of money and help clean up our towns and open spaces too. We’re so excited to see the launch of Refill Crawley which will make it easy to look out for the stickers or check the app to find out where you can refill for free.”
Water UK Chief Executive Michael Roberts says, “As an industry with a strong focus on the environment we are passionate about tackling the problems caused by plastic bottles, which clog up rivers and drains, and pollute our seas. By refilling water bottles, we can all help turn this harmful tide of plastic waste. This country has some of the best drinking water in the world and we want everyone to benefit from it. This scheme will do that by making it easier for people to refill their bottles wherever they work, rest, shop or play.”
Find out more about Refill Crawley and how you can take part please email Claire.Stark@crawley.gov.uk. Visit the Refill website at www.refill.org.uk to download the free Refill app and find out more about the Refill movement. To support the NCS group involved please follow their Twitter @Team1NCS3 and their Instagram @team_1_ncs