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Severn Trent supports growth of national Refill campaign

Thursday 27 September 2018

Water and waste company Severn Trent has signed up to a national water refill initiative which will see free fill up points in every major city in England by 2021.

Severn Trent has partnered with not for profit organisation City to Sea to launch the Refill Scheme for people across the Midlands. The initiative allows people to fill up reusable water bottles for free at businesses which sign up as Refill Stations – such as pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Severn Trent plans to help launch the scheme in 10 major towns and cities by early next year, while also supporting local schemes and building a volunteer network.

Liv Garfield, Severn Trent’s Chief Executive, said: “It’s brilliant to play such an important role in a national campaign which encourages more people to stay hydrated with wonderful water.

“The scheme is entirely voluntary and, as an industry, we’re urging as many businesses as possible to get involved. It’s a positive and ongoing campaign which gives people easier access to free water refills, a chance to promote the quality and benefits of tap water, and to help address concerns about plastic pollution.”

Natalie Fee, founder and CEO of City to Sea, said; “It’s been incredible to watch the campaign flourish over the past two years. We wanted to do something that everyone could get onboard with, that would drastically reduce the amount of pointless plastic we use when we’re out and about. People want to help stop plastic pollution, and Refill puts the power to do just that in peoples’ hands.” 

Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of Water UK, the trade body representing all of the major water companies in the UK, said: “As an industry with a strong focus on the environment we are passionate about tackling the problems caused by plastic bottles, which clog up rivers and drains, and pollute our seas. On National Refill Day, people can help turn this harmful tide of plastic waste by downloading the app and switching to a re-usable bottle. This country has some of the best drinking water in the world and we want everyone to benefit from it. This scheme will do that by making it easier for people to refill their bottles for free wherever they work, rest, shop or play.” 

Through special action days in Coventry and Gloucester, Severn Trent has already signed up over 60 businesses as Refill Stations. Details about further events in other cities will be released in the coming weeks.

In the UK 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are used each year, with the average person in the UK now using 150 plastic water bottles every year – more than three a week. Many are discarded, and end up polluting rivers and seas. If just one in 10 Brits refilled just once a week, 340 million plastic bottles a year would be saved.

The Refill app, which highlights all Refill Stations across the UK, can be downloaded for free on Google Play or the App Store.

Anyone wanting to get in touch, find out more about Refill, or those looking to sign up or become a local ambassador, can email refill@severntrent.co.uk.

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