Arundel free water scheme aiming to reduce plastic waste

A new scheme to reduce plastic waste by providing easy access to free water bottle refills is being rolled out in Arundel this month.

Refill Arundel is aiming to encourage cafés, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums and other businesses to sign up to the free Refill app and put a sticker in their windows to alert passers-by they can fill up their water bottles for free.

A Refill sticker which will appear on participating businesses SUS-190701-165259001

A Refill sticker which will appear on participating businesses SUS-190701-165259001

The national project is being headed locally by community group Arundel Agenda 21, which highlighted the importance of reducing plastic waste.

A spokesman for Arundel Agenda 21 said: “Here in Arundel we’re proud of our town and the area’s stunning countryside. However, plastics, particularly single-use plastic bottles, are now the most frequently found type of litter on UK beaches and you don’t have to look far to find them littering our towns and green spaces too.

“Reducing plastic waste also supports our commitment to addressing climate change as a community.”

The scheme will be launched on January 19 at 11am at The Victoria Institute in Tarrant Street, Arundel, to tie in with the Community Fayre at the town hall.

Arundel Agenda 21’s Rita Godfrey said: “Refill Arundel 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. It also helps tourists to the town who want to know where to refill their bottles.”

Refill Arundel is part of the nationwide Refill Scheme lauched in 2015 by City to Sea, a not-for-profit organisation headed by entrepreneur Natalie Fee.

Refill boasts a network of more than 13,000 refill stations across the UK and figures from the initiative show the scale of plastic consumption in the country.

According to Refill, the average adult buys more than three plastic water bottles a week – 175 bottles per person, per year. In total, 7.7 billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year.

It is hoped the scheme, which is being supported by Water UK and local water companies, will cut plastic bottle use by tens of millions annually and increase the availability of high-quality drinking water.

Mala Nathan, regional coordinator for Refill, said: “We know lots of businesses already offer this simple service, but find customers often feel embarrassed or cheeky for asking. By letting people know they can look for Refill stickers or posters and be confident they can refill for free where they find one, Refill Arundel is encouraging more people to take one small step away from relying on single-use plastic bottles. It’s a really simple concept with a really big potential result.”

Find out more about Refill Arundel and how you can take part at https://arundelagenda21.wordpress.com/arundel-water/ or 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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