The problem with plastic.  

Tackling plastic pollution with a Refill solution! 

Policy-makers and the public recognise that pollution from plastic is an urgent problem. Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues the UK needs to address.

Did you know?

In the UK we have some of the highest quality drinking water in the world – and it’s from our taps.

According to the Environmental Audit Committee consumption of bottled water has doubled over the last 15 years, with an estimated 7 billion plastic water bottles used each year in the UK [1]?!

Around the world, one million plastic bottles are bought every minute. This figure is expected to increase by 20% by 2021[2].

To make matters worse

In the UK, RECOUP has claimed that an estimated 15 million bottles are littered, landfilled or incinerated every day [3]. This is believed to produce upto 233,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year [4]. 

Plastic bottles are the most commonly found item in our rivers [5]. And are in the top 10 most commonly found items on beaches across Europe [6].  There are now over 159 plastic bottles for every mile of beach in the UK [7]. 


Microplastic… Not so fantastic.

Once plastics enter our oceans they breakdown into tiny pieces called microplastics. These microplastics are found throughout our oceans. They are a result of natural water erosion and sunlight breaking down the plastic into tiny particles. A single plastic microbead can be one million times more toxic than the water around it [8]. 

The impact on our wildlife has become catastrophic. 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by plastic pollution every year! [9]

Food for thought.

Microbeads are entering the food chain after being consumed by small fish and plankton. 

Shockingly, the average seafood consumer in the UK ingests around 11,000 plastic particles every year [10]. Plastic affects our food chain. Not only that, but seabirds and mammals around the world are impacted by plastic at an unprecedented pace.

Ingested plastic has turned up in almost 92% of animal-meets-marine debris reports [12].  Microplastics affect their metabolism and reproduction system. And ultimately contributes to the potential for species extinction

But, how can we reduce this?

Introducing Refill  a free tap water initiative! Refill is designed to reduce plastic pollution, making refilling your water bottle easy, attractive and rewarding!  

If all our Refill Stations are used just TWICE a week we’d save more than 14 million bottles a year.  

We aim to have free Refill Stations on every high street, and in every city. We want to make carrying a refillable bottle a social norm.


How it works. 

Participating cafes, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums, and other businesses simply register to be a Refill Station via the app. Their location is then pinpointed for users to find.

They’ll also have a sticker in their window. This alerts passers-by to the fact they’re welcome to come on in and fill up their bottle – for free! 

Join the Refill Revolution.

Carry a reusable bottle and download the Refill app to find your fill on the go. Help us tackle plastic pollution at source!

  1. RECOUP (RECycling of Used Plastics Limited) cited in: House of Commons, ‘Plastic bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide’
  2. Euromonitor International’s global packaging trends report (2018) Referenced in The Guardian.
  3. Keep Britain Tidy (PKG0084A) cited in: House of Commons, ‘Plastic bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide’ 
  4. Eunomia cited in: House of Commons, ‘Plastic bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide.’
  5. Earthwatch (2018) Plastic Rivers Report 2018
  6. European Commission (2018) Top Marine Beach Litter Items in Europe. A Review and synthesis based on beach litter data.
  7. Marine Conservation Society (2016) Beach Clean Report
  8. Plastic Microbeads – 5Gyres
  9. Unesco Report

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