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Why Refill?

Every minute, one million plastic bottles are bought around the world, and that figure is expected to go up 20% by 2021 [1].

In the UK alone, we consume 13 billion plastic bottles a year – 7.7 billion of them are plastic water bottles, despite us having some of the best quality drinking water in the world [2]. 

So, what can we do about it? Refill offers a free and easy solution for preventing plastic pollution from single-use bottles at source. If just 1 in 10 Brits Refilled once a week, we’d save around 340 million plastic bottles a year. 

The good news is that research has shown that 73% of us are concerned about plastic pollution and 64 per cent of people surveyed said they would stop buying it if they could access tap water refills. 

5 reasons to join the Refill Revolution.

1. Prevent plastic pollution at source.

In the UK alone, we consume 13 billion plastic bottles a year and discard 7.7 billion of them [3].  If everyone in the UK refilled just once a week, we’d prevent more than 340 million plastic bottles at source every year. 

2. Save Money.

Globally, the bottled water industry is expected to be worth $215.12 billion by 2025 [4] and in the UK we are spending more than $2.4 billion a year on the stuff [5]. That’s no surprise when you consider that we are buying around 3 bottles a week EACH every year.

Refilling your reusable bottle is an easy way to save money, because bottled water costs between 500-1000 times more than water from the tap! 

3. Help combat climate change.

It’s been estimated that plastic production and the incineration of plastic waste give rise globally to approximately 400 million tonnes of CO2 a year with bottled water being 900 times more carbon intensive than drinking tap water [6].  

It takes over 8 litres of water to produce a single bottle, making it an incredibly inefficient use of resources, and that’s even before we’ve thought about flying it halfway across the world! [7] 

Add in the fact that the landfill and incineration of plastic bottles from the UK produces approximately 233,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions a year and you’ve got a climate disaster!

4. Water quality.

In the UK, we’re lucky to have some of the highest quality drinking water in the world.

However, many people still drink bottled water because they believe it not only tastes better but is better and safer than tap water. In reality, tap water is often more tightly regulated [8].

Shockingly, a recent global study of bottled water brands found tiny plastic particles (microplastics) in over 90 per cent of samples [9]. 

That’s enough to make anyone reach for their reusable bottle and start refilling! 

5. Protect the environment.

An appalling 700,000 plastic bottles are littered every single day in the UK [10]Many of these are making their way into our oceans. Plastic bottles now make up one-third of all plastic pollution in the sea [11] and there are now over 159 plastic bottles for every mile of beach in the UK [12].  

The impact on our wildlife is becoming catastrophic – 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million seabirds are killed by plastic pollution annually. 

Join the Refill Revolution.

Together, we have the power to reach, influence and drive change to prevent plastic pollution at source!

References:

  1. Euromonitor International’s global packaging trends report.
  2. RECOUP (RECycling of Used Plastics Limited) cited in: House of Commons, ‘Plastic bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide’ – Source:  https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/339/33905.htm
  3. RECOUP (RECycling of Used Plastics Limited) cited in: House of Commons, ‘Plastic bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide’ – Source:  https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/339/33905.htm
  4. Grand View Research, Inc https://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-bottled-water-market
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/28/bottled-water-is-a-nonsense-fill-our-towns-with-drinking-fountains
  6. World Economic Forum, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey & Company, ‘The New Plastics Economy — Rethinking the future of plastics’ (2016) http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_New_Plastics_Economy.pdf
  7. Seas at Risk, Single-use Plastics and the Marine Environment: https://seas-at-risk.org/images/pdf/publications/SeasAtRiskSummarysingleUseplasticandthemarineenvironment.compressed.pdf
  8. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/9775158/Bottled-water-not-as-safe-as-tap-variety.html
  9. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/14_03_13_finalbottled.pdf
  10. Keep Britain Tidy (PKG0084A) cited in: House of Commons, ‘Plastic bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide’ Source: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/339/33905.htm
  11. House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Plastic bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide First Report of Session 2017–19
  12. The latest Beachwatch survey (2016, MCSUK)

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