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Tameside businesses to offer free water refills

Press Release: 07/05/2019

 
RefillLocal businesses sign up to Refill Tameside to keep residents hydrated and healthy on the go – and cut plastic waste at the same time
 
A number of Tameside businesses will soon be offering free refills of cool, refreshing water to help members of the public stay hydrated and healthy – while saving money and also helping reduce plastic waste and other environmental harms.
 
Seven businesses in Ashton have already signed up in support, and in the coming month the Refill Tameside team and volunteers will be contacting many more businesses in an effort to spread the Refill message across the borough, ahead of a public launch of the Tameside-wide Refill Scheme in June.
 
The Refill app and window stickers make it even more convenient to tap into the network of 16,000 Refill Stations already established nationwide. And you can also tap the app to see how much plastic you’re saving every time you top up.
 
The Ashton businesses which will become Refill Stations from 5th June are Infinity Initiatives, Topaz Café at Tameside and Glossop Mind, The Station Hotel, Portland Basin Activity Centre, Emmaus Mossley and Stamford Park Pavilion Café, as well as the Joint Public Service Centre at Tameside One.
 
Throughout May, Tameside Food Partnership and the Council will be contacting businesses around the borough, seeking to ensure there will be Refill Stations in each of Tameside’s nine towns ahead of the public launch in June – hoping to make the scheme available to as many people as possible at the start of summer.
 
Debbie Watson, Tameside Council’s Assistant Director of Population Health, said:
 
“We’re encouraging Tameside businesses to sign up to Refill because it will benefit them and also the rest of us.
 
“The businesses which take part improve their customer service by providing their customers with a valuable new service, while boosting their footfall and their visibility.
 
“Their customers save money on expensive bottled water. They get the convenience of being able to refill their bottles for free while they’re out of their home or their workplace. And Refill makes it easier to stay healthy by rehydrating properly.
 
“And the environment benefits because we cut down on waste plastic and we reduce our carbon footprint. In the long run, by helping the move towards a greener future, we’ll also save council taxpayers’ money on waste disposal.”
 
Debbie Watson added: “Surveys show that the British public wants schemes like this: 73% of us are concerned about plastic pollution, and 64% of people surveyed said they’d stop buying bottled water if they could access tap water refills.”
 
Sarah Irving, Refill Regional Coordinator, said: “We know lots of businesses around the country 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 Tameside 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, adding to the great work of other organisations.”
 
Refill is a national City to Sea initiative aimed at making refilling a reusable bottle on the go as easy as possible, saving money and helping protect the environment. The campaign is backed by Water UK, and supported locally by the Council and Tameside Food Partnership.
 
You can find out more about Refill Tameside and how you can take part at https://www.tameside.gov.uk/refill-scheme
 
You can visit the Refill website at www.refill.org.uk to download the free Refill app and find out more about the Refill movement.
 
 
Bottled water facts and figures
 
Over the last 15 years, UK consumption of bottled water has doubled.
 
Of the 13 billion plastic bottles used each year in the UK, nearly 60% (7.7 billion) are plastic water bottles.
 
Every minute, one million plastic bottles are bought around the world, and that figure is expected to go up 20% by 2021.
 
In the UK alone, we consume 13 billion plastic bottles a year – 7.7 billion of them are plastic water bottles, despite us having some of the best quality drinking water in the world.
 
If just 1 in 10 people in the UK refilled once a week, we’d save around 340 million plastic bottles a year.
 
 
Costs

 
The UK spends more than £1.8 billion a year on bottled water – around 3 bottles a week each on average.
 
Bottled water costs 500-1000 times more than tap water – and the UK has some of the best quality drinking water in the world.
 
 
Waste and litter
 
About 700,000 plastic bottles are littered every single day in the UK.
 
Almost half of these bottles are not recycled. And around 15 million plastic bottles are littered, landfilled or incinerated every day – ending up in our natural environment and flowing into our oceans.
 
 
Global environmental impacts
 
The production and incineration of plastic give rise to an estimated 400 million tonnes of CO2 a year globally. Bottled water is 900 times more carbon-intensive than tap water.
 
It takes over 8 litres of water to produce a single bottle.
 
Landfill and incineration of plastic bottles from the UK produces about 233,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.
 
A recent global study of bottled water brands found tiny plastic particles (microplastics) in over 90% of samples.
 
Plastic bottles now make up one-third of all plastic pollution in the sea.
 
The impact on our wildlife is becoming catastrophic – 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million seabirds are killed by plastic pollution annually.
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