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South West Water and Recycle Devon encourage Exeter shoppers to show they’ve #GotTheBottle to prevent plastic pollution

18th June 2019

As part of the award-winning ReFill campaign, South West Water is taking further steps to make tap water more freely available, helping to reduce litter from single-use plastic bottles and keep people healthy and hydrated when out and about.

To mark the launch of National ReFill Day tomorrow (Wednesday 19 June), South West Water and Recycle Devon will be at Princesshay Square in Exeter from 10am to 6pm to offer free tap water refills from a South West Water ’hydration station’.

As well as offering the chance to learn more about the campaign, South West Water will be giving away some stainless steel refillable bottles to a few lucky refill users throughout the day.

BBC’s ‘Blue Planet’ and the current ‘War on Plastic’ TV programme have significantly raised public awareness about plastic pollution.  In response to community demand South West Water has helped to install several new water connection points in public places, including Polzeath beach and Bude in Cornwall. 

Working with Keep Britain Tidy, the company has also distributed 3,000 stainless steel refillable bottles to community groups in the South West.  In addition, South West Water is currently supporting plans by Feock Parish Council for a new public hydration station at Point Quay, Devoran near Truro and progressing plans with Plymouth City Council for three new water points in Plymouth.

With more than 20,000 ReFill stations now registered in locations like cafes, hotels, restaurants and shops (1,200 in Devon and Cornwall) it is estimated that the ReFill campaign will have stopped over 100 million single-use bottles from becoming waste by the end of 2019.

The sites are part of a growing network of participating premises and businesses across the UK, co-ordinated by trade body Water UK, which aims to offer ReFill in every major town and city in the UK by 2021.

People can use an app on their phone to find out where the nearest ReFill point is, look out for special signs in shop windows or visit www.recycledevon.org/RefillDevon.

Alan Hyde, Head of Community Relations for South West Water, said: “As pioneers of ReFill we’re delighted that the campaign is taking off across the UK. By helping to combat plastic pollution and provide easy access to great quality tap water when on the move, it’s a win-win for people and planet.”

Councillor Andrea Davis, Chairman of the Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee, said: “This is a fantastic initiative. It could make a real difference and Recycle Devon is happy to support it.

“An estimated 700,000 plastic bottles end up littering our streets, beaches and countryside every day so it’s far better to carry a reusable bottle and refill it.

“The average person in the UK will use 150 plastic water bottles every year, that’s around three a week. If just one in 10 refilled just once a week, we’d save around 340 million plastic bottles a year.”

Notes to editors

  • Find out more at www.refill.org.uk and www.recycledevon.org/RefillDevon
  • ReFill launched in Bude in Cornwall in 2014. It came out of the BeachCare partnership between South West Water and Keep Britain Tidy, with school teacher Deb Rosser.  Since then the campaign in Devon and Cornwall has registered more than 1,200 ReFill sites on the ReFill app and saved an estimated 5 million single-use plastic bottles from littering our shores.
  • Since 2010, the BeachCare project has completed 1,287 beach cleans and removed 174 tonnes of rubbish, mainly plastics, from beaches across the South West: www.facebook.com/beachcare
  • National Refill Day is a public awareness campaign to help prevent millions of single-use plastic bottles from polluting our streets and our oceans by encouraging people to carry a reusable water bottle and refill on the go.
  • On 19 June the ReFill campaign will be asking the UK public if they’ve got the bottle to stop plastic pollution by switching from a single-use plastic bottle to a reusable one.
  • We want to create a new social norm for carrying a reusable water bottle and make sure everyone, everywhere knows how easy it is to find free drinking water with ReFill.

For further information please contact:

South West Water