Town firms join battle to reduce plastic waste

MP Victoria Prentis (second from left) with representatives from Brita UK, Refill and local businesses NNL-171109-164253001
MP Victoria Prentis (second from left) with representatives from Brita UK, Refill and local businesses NNL-171109-164253001

Bicester has joined the campaign to protect the seas and oceans by reducing the reliance on disposable plastic water bottles following the launch of the Refill scheme.

Already 20 local businesses have signed up to the initiative, which seeks to connect thirsty people with cafes, shops and offices willing to offer free tap water refills.

Bicester is the 11th town in the country to join the scheme, which sees participating businesses registering with an app and placing a sticker in their window, alerting passers-by they are a Refill site, regardless of whether they are customers or not.

The scheme, which is sponsored by Bicester-based business BRITA UK, has the backing of Victoria Prentis MP who officially launched the scheme last week.

Mrs Prentis said: “I am thrilled to launch the Refill scheme in Bicester and Banbury. Disposable bottles can be so damaging to the environment, but they are often hard to avoid, especially when out and about.

“The simplest solutions are usually the most effective. Refill enables people to do their bit while going about their everyday lives.”

Among the businesses joining the scheme is FLTR Coffee, on Nightingale Place, which is where the scheme was launched.

Research conducted by BRITA UK and Keep Britain Tidy revealed 59 per cent of us would be more likely to use a reusable water bottle if refills were more freely available.

Britons use 7.7bn single-use plastic bottles every year and an estimated 800 plastic bottles a minute are either ending up in landfill or as litter.

Sarah Taylor, managing director of BRITA UK, said: “BRITA UK is delighted to be supporting the launch of Refill in Bicester and Banbury. We all know how important it is to stay hydrated on the go, but it can be really difficult to find somewhere to fill up for free or get a glass of water.”

The Refill app is available from www.refill.org.uk/get-the-refill-app or from the Play store on android devices. You can also find out more on Twitter at @refillbicandban or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/refillbicandban.