To coincide with National Refill Day on 19 June, East Suffolk residents and visitors are being encouraged to stay hydrated whilst saving money and avoiding unnecessary plastic waste by using a refillable water bottle.
The country-wide Refill Scheme encourages participating cafés, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums and other businesses to sign up to the free Refill app and put a sticker in their window telling members of the public that they are welcome to refill their bottle for free.
East Suffolk House in Melton is already a Refill Station and now visitors to Lowestoft can fill up their bottles at Café East, located within the Riverside building on Canning Road. The café is managed by Vertas Group Ltd.
It is estimated that around 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.
Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk’s Cabinet Member for the Environment said:
“East Suffolk is renowned for its stunning landscapes and beautiful beaches with a large part of the district designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Unfortunately plastics, including single-use plastic bottles, are now the most frequently found type of litter on UK beaches and they can also be found littering our towns and green spaces.
I believe small changes can make a big difference. Taking simple steps, such as refilling a bottle rather than buying water in single-use plastic, is a great example.
By the end of this year, it is estimated that the Refill Scheme will have prevented more than 100 million single-use bottles from entering the waste stream.
We are proud that both Riverside and East Suffolk House are amongst the 20,000 Refill Stations across the UK registered on the free Refill app.”
City to Sea, a not-for-profit organisation, launched the award-winning Refill Campaign in 2015. It is estimated that the scheme, 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.
Refill Suffolk was launched last year by local litter awareness campaigner and founder of Rubbish Walks, Jason Alexander, working with Anglian Water, BBC Radio Suffolk, Transition Woodbridge and the East Suffolk Greenprint Forum.
Jason Alexander said:
“Refill 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.”
Using the free Refill app, it’s easy to find your nearest Refill Station wherever you are. Local businesses are encouraged to support the Refill Scheme and help make it easy and convenient for people to refill their water bottles on the go.
To find out more about Refill Suffolk and how you can take part visit: https://rubbishwalks.co.uk/refillsuffolk
Jason Alexander has also been working with the East Suffolk Greenprint Forum and East Suffolk Council to develop a network of ambassadors in the community - Plastic Action Champions - who help and inspire others in the community to take positive action to reduce our dependency on single-use plastics. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/plastic-action-champions-and-volunteering