Severn Trent pick up the fight against plastic pollution

Wednesday 19th June 2019

Severn Trent volunteers will be out in force across Birmingham on Wednesday 19th June, doing their bit in the fight against plastic pollution.

Teams from the Midlands based water company will be cleaning up rivers and hitting the high street in a bid to encourage people to use less plastic – all to mark National Refill Day – a day dedicated to increasing awareness about plastic pollution.

The first wave of Severn Trent volunteers will be teaming up with independent charity Keep Britain Tidy, litter picking along the River Cole near central Birmingham.

Fighting on two fronts, the day of action will also see Severn Trent employees take to Harborne High Street, encouraging cafes, bars and restaurants to sign up to Refill – a scheme that allows people to fill up their reusable water bottles for free. Businesses who sign up to the scheme simply display the Refill window sticker to let passers-by know they can fill up.

National Refill Day is the centrepiece of the Refill campaign, with a nationwide day of activity all over the UK. Refill, City to Sea’s award-winning campaign to get people to ditch single-use water bottles in favour of reusable bottles is the UK’s leading ‘app for tap’ – connecting people looking for water with businesses, water fountains and transport hubs where they can refill for free on the go.

As part of this campaign, the public are now being urged to stop buying single-use plastic water bottles and switch to reusable ones to help fight the tide of plastic waste.

Severn Trent’s corporate responsibility lead, Jess Fidler said: “To mark National Refill Day, we’ve got volunteers out and about across Birmingham, helping to clean up rivers and persuading businesses on the high street to sign up to the Refill scheme – allowing people to fill up their reusable water bottles for free.

“Refill is a brilliant way to reduce plastic pollution and cut the amount of bottles ending up in rivers, canals and landfill sites. It is estimated that the nationwide Refill Scheme will cut plastic bottle use by tens of millions each year.

“It’s important that we continue to remind people about the health benefits of drinking water and staying hydrated too. The more people that use reusable water bottles, the more people will be drinking our wonderful tap water. That’s why a campaign like Refill is such a natural fit for Severn Trent to be part of.”

Rebecca Burgess, City to Sea CEO said: “Severn Trent has been a fantastic partner on the Refill campaign, donating staff time and resource to increase the number of Refill Stations across their region.

“They’ve been instrumental in organising action days across 10 cities and towns, helping to catalyse local support and expand the Refill campaign significantly. We look forward to working with Severn Trent to grow Refill even further in the coming months.”

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton added: “Choosing a reusable water bottle for when you’re out and about is a great way to avoid single-use plastic.“Plastic pollution is a blight on our environment, both on land and in our oceans, and we are delighted to be working with Severn Trent to clean up the waterways around Birmingham to stop plastic making its way to the sea."

In partnership with City to Sea, Severn Trent has hosted Refill action days in 10 major towns and cities across its region over the past 12 months, launching the scheme in Birmingham, Coventry, Gloucester Leicester, Nottingham, Shrewsbury, Powys, Wrexham, Wolverhampton and Worcester.

There are now almost 2000 businesses signed up to the scheme across the Severn Trent area, potentially saving millions of plastic bottles from ending up in landfill sites or in our rivers and oceans.