Cardiff latest city to join the Refill movement
Cardiff has become the latest city to sign up to the Refill campaign and provide free public access to drinking water in locations across the city.
Following the launch of Refill Cardiff by Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn yesterday (28 November), businesses across the Welsh capital will be displaying the Refill sticker in their windows to show passers-by that they are welcome to come in and fill up their water bottle for free. Refill points can be found and located on the Refill app, which all participating businesses sign up to.
The Welsh Government is supporting the national roll-out of the scheme, with over 600 refill stations already signed up across Wales, including along the 870-mile Wales Coast Path, and more joining every week. The Welsh Government has also funded a Welsh language version of the Refill app.
The support of the Welsh Government for Refill adds to the movement’s rapidly growing momentum against the backdrop of the 7.7 billion plastic drinking bottles thrown away in the UK every year, with Refill projects being set up in towns and cities such as Bristol, Bath, Banbury and even London, where a trial Refill scheme was launched in March.
Commenting on the launch, Hannah Blythyn said: ”Making drinking water more available is a really simple way to cut down on single-use plastics and is much better for the environment. Earlier this year I announced my ambition to see Wales become the world’s first ‘Refill Nation’ and make asking for a water refill a social norm, so it’s really good to see our capital city join the scheme.”
Hannah Osman, Refill Wales Coordinator, added: “We are so excited to see Refill Cardiff join the Refill movement and making a real difference by reducing reliance on single-use plastics. Every time we refill a reusable bottle we save on our own money and the planet’s resources, and all those individual refills add up to a huge impact. It’s great to see so many local businesses supporting Refill Cardiff by signing up to provide free refills.”
There are currently 86 Refill stations in the Cardiff area, helping to make tap water more widely available in public spaces like transport hubs, shopping centres and public buildings.
One such public institution already involved is Cardiff University, which has signed up as a Refill ‘champion’. The University’s Water Research Institute, which is researching 'plastics in freshwaters', is aiming to get all accessible water stations on campus signed up to the app and is encouraging other organisations across the city to join the scheme. Cardiff Council has also added public buildings such as libraries to the app.
Professor Isabelle Durance, Director of Cardiff University’s Water Research Institute, said: “We are very excited to be championing the Refill movement in Cardiff. The University is committed to reducing its energy, water and plastic use. Simple but effective schemes like Refill are a great way to achieve this, and perhaps as importantly, to make us more aware of the need to better manage our natural resources.
“In addition to promoting the campaign, we are providing water refill stations in several of our campus buildings, empowering staff, students and the whole community to care for our environment, for future generations.”
Councillor Michael Michael, Cabinet Member responsible for Clean Streets, Recycling and the Environment at Cardiff Council, said: “Now that the app has been launched, residents and visitors in Cardiff will be able to see exactly where they will be able to refill their plastic bottles in the city on their smartphone. The Council is committed to reducing the use of single use plastics and we will continue to work with our partners to continue to expand the scheme.”