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Retailers support push to ditch single-use plastic with water refill stations

Three quarters of UK consumers think that the use of single-use plastic should be socially unacceptable, according to new research released today (19 June 2019) to coincide with National Refill Day.

The survey carried out for the Refill campaign – which encourages people to stop buying single-use bottles and switch to refillable ones – by OnePoll also found that 86 per cent of people are worried about the impact of plastic pollution on the environment.

High street retailers and restaurants are joining the ‘Refill Revolution’ by providing free drinking water. Brands including Greggs, Pret a Manger and Sweaty Betty are taking part in the promotion.

National Refill Day involves a day of nationwide activity, in towns, cities, and train stations across the UK.

Natalie Fee, founder of City to Sea, the organisation behind the Refill campaign, said: “It’s been incredible to watch the Refill campaign flourish over the past few years. National Refill Day is something that everyone can get onboard with and has the potential to drastically reduce the amount of unnecessary single-use plastic we use when we’re out and about. People want to help prevent plastic pollution, and Refill puts the power to do that in their hands.”

Kingly Court refill station
Kingly Court refill station

Retail property group Shaftesbury says that a free water refill station in Kingly Court, Soho, has saved the use of more than 45,000 bottles since it was introduced in March 2018. It was the first refill station fitted in the capital as part of the #OneLess campaign launched by the Mayor of London.

A number of retailers in the Carnaby Street area are now offering free refills. They include Pure, The Detox Kitchen, The Good Egg and TOMS.

Shaftesbury director Simon Quayle says, “We are immensely proud that the public fountain is playing a part in the battle against mass pollution single-use plastic water bottles, a vital step towards protecting the environment. We are actively working with the Carnaby F&B tenants across our portfolio to become more ocean-friendly and invite our visitors to refill reusable bottles as we strive to achieve a deeper level of change.”

Despite environmental warnings sales of bottled water continue to grow, hitting a record £558.4m n the UK last year.

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