Refill is a national campaign led by plastic pollution campaign group City to Sea which aims to provide a network of cafes, shops, hotels and other businesses that will refill reusable water bottles for free - reducing our reliance on single use plastics.
Essex & Suffolk Water is working in partnership with the Essex Waste Partnership to deliver the Refill Essex scheme, alongside local volunteer groups and organisations.
Participating businesses can register on the Refill app and display a sticker in their window to show that they offer free tap water. The app also allows users to locate their nearest Refill station, so all they need to do is remember to carry a reusable bottle to stay topped up on the move.
The nine Essex Wildlife Trust visitor centres that are now Refill stations are -
• Abberton Reservoir
• Bedford′s Park
• Belfair′s Woodland Centre
• Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve
• Hanningfield Reservoir
• Ingrebourne Valley
• The Naze Centre
• Thurrock Thameside Nature Park
• Thorndon Country Park
Eliane Algaard, Water Director for Essex & Suffolk Water said: "We have a long standing partnership with Essex Wildlife Trust through our joint working at Hanningfield and Abberton Reservoirs, so it′s great to see these and seven other visitor centres signed up as Refill stations.
"It really is easy to get involved and help to reduce plastic pollution - just download the Refill app today, take your reusable bottle with you and start topping up on the go!"
Andrew Impey Chief Executive of Essex Wildlife Trust said: "We are very happy to be working alongside Essex & Suffolk Water and supporting the Refill campaign at our visitor centres.
It′s one of the many ways that we′re encouraging people to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic bottles, which is such a pressing environmental issue. We are looking forward to greeting everyone with their re-usable bottles at the ready!"
In addition to Thorndon, the following Essex country parks now also offer Refill stations -
• Cressing Temple Barns
• Weald Country Park
• Belhus Wood
• Cudmore Grove
Local Refill schemes have already been launched in Brentwood, Chelmsford and Southend, with local volunteers working to spread the word and recruit Refill stations. Any individuals and community groups that would like to launch Refill schemes in their own local areas are encouraged to get involved.
The Refill app can be downloaded on smart phones and tablets, while more information about the campaign is available at www.refill.org.uk. Individuals or community groups that would like to get involved in Refill can find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.