Refill, promoted in the North East by Northumbrian Water, sees businesses and community venues sign up to allow people to top up their refillable water bottles from their taps, free of charge.
Darlington Borough Council pledged its support to the initiative earlier this month, when the water company brought its community vehicle ‘Flo’ to the town centre to give people the chance to find out more.
Volunteers also visited town centre businesses to encourage them to sign up to be Refill Stations.
So far nearly 40 businesses across the town have signed up to become Refill Stations, and now there’s a host of council premises too including the Dolphin Centre (via its Bistro and 16 Horsemarket café), Darlington Hippodrome theatre, Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum, Darlington Libraries – at Crown Street and Cockerton – and South Park Cafe.
Other Refill Stations include all Costa Coffee outlets as well as independent businesses such as Coopers Tea Rooms and Coffee House, the Courtyard Café and Deli Stop.
Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for leisure and the local environment, said:
“We’re delighted to be part of this initiative and it’s great that so many local businesses have already signed up. The more Refill Stations we have the less need for single-use plastic bottles, which has got to be a good thing for the environment.”
Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive of Northumbrian Water, added:
“It’s fantastic to have the support of organisations like Darlington Borough Council getting behind the Refill campaign. Before we had officially arrived in Darlington, we’d already seen businesses signing up and I’m delighted that there are even more embracing Refill.
“All members of the public need to do now, is to take a refillable bottle with them when they go out, and use the Refill app to find their nearest station. They can show further support by encouraging other local business and organisations to sign up.”
The aim of Refill, which was set up by Bristol-based not for profit organisation City To Sea, is to reduce the reliance on single-use plastic bottles. Since Northumbrian Water brought Refill to the North East in November 2017, more than 740 Refill Stations, from cafes to university buildings, have been set up.
Businesses simply need to allow people to bring in their bottles to be topped up from the tap. Window stickers are supplied to help them promote their part in the scheme and they can also register on the Refill app, which people use to find their nearest station.
The average person in the UK will use 150 plastic water bottles every year. If just one in ten Brits refilled once a week, we’d have 340 million less plastic bottles a year in circulation.
To find out more about Refill, or to download the app, visit www.refill.org.uk