New scheme launches to tackle plastic bottle pollution in Bridgend

Refill Bridgend 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 Bridgend 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 bottles are bought across the UK each year, resulting in substantial amounts of single-use plastic waste ending up in our oceans.

City to Sea, a not-for-profit organisation headed by entrepreneur Natalie Fee, launched the award-winning Refill Scheme in 2015. Now being rolled out nationwide with full support of Welsh Government and water companies Dŵr Cymru and Hafren Dyfrdwy, Refill will substantially increase the availability of high-quality drinking water. It has never been easier to swap a single use plastic bottle for a free taste of the rolling Welsh mountains.

Local Champion Sarah Murphy who lives near Bridgend town centre, explains why both businesses and their customers should get involved:

Sarah Murphy, Local Refill Bridgend Champion in the town centre

“Bridgend/ Pen-y-bont is a vibrant, growing town with the River Ogmore running through it. We’re rightly proud of the area’s stunning natural environment with Kenfig National Nature Reserve, Merthyr Mawr sand dunes and the Wales Coast Path all on our doorstep.  Plastics, including single-use plastic bottles, are now the most frequently found type of litter on UK beaches – including Newton beach in Porthcawl – and you don’t have to look far to find them littering our towns and green spaces too.”

Sarah Murphy added,

“Refill Bridgend 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.”

Refill Bridgend builds on the success of Refill around the UK, which now boasts a network of over 28,500 Refill Stations.

Beth & Jess who run newly opened business, The Station, in Coychurch who have signed up to the Refill Bridgend Scheme

Hannah Osman, Refill National Coordinator, says:

“We’re so excited that Bridgend is joining the Refill movement and making a real difference by reducing reliance on single-use plastics. Every time we refill a re-usable bottle, we save our own money and the planet’s resources, and all those individual refills add up to a huge impact. It’s great to see so many local businesses supporting Refill Bridgend by signing up to provide free refills.”

Find out more about Refill Bridgend and how you can take part at www.facebook.com/RefillBridgend. Visit the Refill website at www.refill.org.uk to download the free Refill app and find out more about the Refill movement.

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