Free water refills available across Hackney
Hackney Council joined over 20 local businesses in signing up to offer free tap water refills in a bid to help residents ditch plastic bottles.
Research shows that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea, a large part of this will be from the 420 million bottles that end up in landfill each year that get blown into the ocean, damaging the environment and harming wildlife. The Refill London action plan aims to reduce the number of plastic bottles used by the public, by encouraging people to take out reusable bottles and fill them up when they are out and about.
Eleven volunteers took to the streets to explain the benefits to businesses of signing up to the pledge to offer free water refills, as part of the first ever National Refill Day, on 27 September.
Volunteer, Lucy Simler, said: “It’s really important to get people to use less bottles, this refill scheme makes it a lot easier for people, and will help us all reduce waste.”
Businesses who commit to refill were added to the Refill app - https://www.refill.org.uk/get-the-refill-app/ - and given a sticker to display in their window if they wish. The Council is working with Refill London, a City to Sea and Thames Water collaboration, to promote the scheme in the borough.
Andrew Woodyatt from the Rio Cinema in Dalston, which is a refill station, said: “It is essential for all businesses to support any initiatives like Refill London that cut down on single use plastic. The Rio Cinema is very committed to eliminating plastics all together, our food packaging is made of sustainable paper and card materials, and the cups we use are compostable vegware. We have a zero to landfill policy and work with First Mile to recycle all our waste and hope this inspires other cinemas to follow our lead. As part of the current refurbishment of the Rio we are installing LED lighting to reduce our energy consumption, and looking at ways to make the Rio carbon neutral, including plans to become the first solar powered cinema in the UK."
Hackney Service Centre is one of the buildings now proudly displaying a Refill sticker, and thirsty residents are welcome to ask any member of customer service staff for a refill.
Alongside expanding the Council’s water fountain network over the next four years, we are also taking advantage of the taps we already have to address this problem as soon as we can. We’re offering free refills to residents who visit the Hackney Service Centre and encouraging local businesses to sign up and take part in the scheme. It is up to all of us to do our bit to prevent waste and reduce our impact on the environment.
Businesses looking to get involved can download the app and add their refill site. Alternatively they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.