As part of Marlow Town Council’s #sustainablemarlow initiative, a project called ‘Refill Marlow’ has been launched this month, giving Marlovians the chance to take a simple first step towards reducing the amount of single-use plastic in the town.
A tap water refill scheme is being introduced in the Marlow area, encouraging participating cafes, bars, restaurants, banks, museums and other businesses to sign up to the free Refill app. Window stickers will alert passers-by to the fact they’re welcome to fill up their bottle for free.
Refill Marlow is the first project to be launched under #sustainablemarlow, Marlow Town Council’s ambitious new vision to make Marlow into an environmental exemplar town – one of the most environmentally sustainable small towns in Britain.
It’s estimated that around 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are bought across the UK each year, resulting in substantial amounts of single-use plastic waste ending up in the oceans.
City to Sea, a not-for-profit organisation headed by campaigner Natalie Fee, launched the award-winning Refill Campaign in 2015. It’s estimated that the scheme, now being rolled out nationwide with support from Water UK and local water companies, will cut plastic bottle use by tens of millions each year, as well as substantially increasing the availability of high-quality drinking water.
Jocelyn Towns, Leader of Marlow Town Council and Chair of the Council’s Environmental Advisory Group, said: “Following the recent launch of #sustainablemarlow, Marlow Town Council’s new environmental vision, we are delighted to announce Refill Marlow as our next project.
“We know lots of businesses already offer this simple service, but find customers often feel embarrassed or cheeky for asking. By letting people know they can look for Refill stickers or posters and be confident they can refill for free where they find one, Refill Marlow is encouraging more people to take one small step away from relying on single use plastic bottles. It’s a simple concept with a really big potential result.”
Local champion Phil Irving, a Marlow-based environmental professional who is launching Refill Marlow, explained why businesses and their customers should get involved: “Here in Marlow we’re rightly proud of the area’s stunning countryside, parks and rivers. Plastics, including single-use plastic bottles, are now the most frequently found type of litter on UK beaches and you don’t have to look far to find them littering our towns and green spaces too.”
Phil added: “Refill Marlow gives us all the opportunity to help make this type of litter a thing of the past, at the same time as saving money. It’s good business sense as well, as customers view businesses that provide free water refills more favourably and are more likely to return to them to make future purchases.”
Refill Marlow builds on the success of Refill around the UK, which now boasts a network of over 20,000 Refill Stations.
James Watt, Refill Regional Coordinator, said: “Every time we refill a re-useable bottle instead of buying and throwing away a single-use bottle we not only reduce the amount of plastic and fuel being used, we save a bit of money and help clean up our towns and open spaces too. We’re so excited to see the launch of Refill Marlow which will make it easy to look out for the stickers or check the app to find out where you can refill for free.”
Find out more about Refill Marlow and to volunteer to sign up Refill Stations email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Refill website at www.refill.org.uk to download the free Refill app and find out more about the Refill movement.
Published 23rd July 2019