Drinking your fill with the U.K. Refill campaign

Date: 05-Feb-19
Author: Liam Taylor

Plastic water bottles are some of the most widely used single use plastics on earth. Image: Jonathan Chng/Unsplash © Jonathan Chng/Unsplash

Plastic water bottles are some of the most widely used single use plastics on earth. Image: Jonathan Chng/Unsplash

An award-winning campaign to prevent plastic pollution at source rolled out over 12,000 water refill stations throughout the U.K. in 2018.

The Refill campaign from community interest organisation City to Sea aims to prevent millions of plastic bottles from entering landfill or the natural environment by making reusing a bottle simpler than buying a new one. 

This has involved an education campaign making it ‘sexy’ to carry a reusable bottle and a roll-out of water refill stations to make it easy to refill for free. The group has also created a mobile app that can be used to find free refill stations nearby your location when out and about. 

Despite possessing some of the highest quality, free drinking water in the world, the campaign found less than 30 percent of people in the UK drink tap water from reusable bottles. As a result, the average Brit goes through approximately 140 plastic water bottles every year. 

The Refill campaign says that if just one in ten refilled once a week instead of buying a new bottle, 340 million plastic bottles could be taken out of circulation. With initial response positive, it’s estimated the Refill app and campaign could save a billion plastic bottles by 2025.


Positive Action

  • Australia has its own campaign encouraging reusable water bottles called Choose Tap. Visit the website or download the app to find one of the 8000 locations offering free tap water.
  • Visit Smart Approved WaterMark for more information on water efficient products and services or advise on saving water around the home, garden or business.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.

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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.

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