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Poundbury takes on the Refill Scheme

Poundbury takes on the Refill Scheme
Posted : November 16, 2017

Poundbury is the latest area to join in with the Refill scheme that has been sweeping Dorset, with aims to help reduce the number of single use plastic bottles. Businesses that sign up to the scheme agree to fill up people’s water bottles for free, encouraging people to have a reusable water bottle rather than reaching for a disposable plastic one.

The project is locally being run by Litter Free Coast and Sea, who have been working with Damers First School Eco Club, and Dorset County Council Sustainable Schools to get Poundbury refilling.

Charlie Wild, Litter Free Coast & Sea Project Officer, explains ‘Refill is a great way to get people aware of reducing their single use plastic. It’s also a great from a health aspect, encouraging people to drink more water. We’ve found that a lot of businesses already offer this as a service, and many are keen to promote what they are already doing. Refills are free, but we often find people purchasing something else like cake or coffee at the same time. For businesses, it helps reduce their rubbish and recycling, whilst showing customers that they have an invested interest in the local environment.’

Damers First School got involved after being inspired by National Recycling Week in September, during which the school held a special recycling assembly and all children took part learning about the impact of waste in the environment.  Four children had the chance to go to London to meet Mark Janovich, CEO of Delphis Eco who launched the first 100% UK Post-Consumer Recycled Bottle. They also had the chance to meet Prince Charles’s Sustainability Officer at Clarence House, who spoke about Prince Charles’s Plastic Ocean work. Edd Moore, Eco Club coordinator, said ‘From all this the children wanted to do their bit locally to help cut down on the use of plastic that can cause so much harm to the environment and marine wildlife.’

The Eco Club wrote to local businesses in Poundbury, explaining about the Refill scheme, and why it was important to get involved. After one afternoon, they had signed up 18 businesses in the town, with more wanting to get involved since.

Alison Jay, Sustainable Schools Project Officer at Dorset County Council, said ‘This brilliant scheme will make a real difference to people in Poundbury and to the environment. It just shows what a group of confident and knowledgeable children can achieve. They are just the sort of champions the world needs, and a great example of an Eco-School working in the wider community to make a difference.’

There are now over 100 Refill stations in Dorset, ranging from more obvious venues such as cafes and coffee shops, to slightly more obscure ones such as a publishing company and estate agents. Charlie Wild said ‘Single use plastic bottles are still one of the most common items of litter we find on litter picks and beach cleans. It is a simple switch that will make a big difference – both here in Dorset, and further afield.’

Each business proudly displays a ‘Refill here’ blue sticker in their window to show customers it’s OK to ask. To make it easy to find your nearest #Refill station, all the Dorset businesses who’ve signed up are mapped on the Refill Britain App available for free for iOS and android smartphones. Simply tap the app, search for your nearest station, and get refilling!

To discover more about the Refill stations in Dorset, visit www.litterfreecoastandsea.co.uk or contact the Litter Free Coast and Sea team on 01305 224731.

 

Photo credit – Damers First School

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