Shoppers in Bedford encouraged to say goodbye to pointless packaging as award-winning campaign Refill expands Image City to Sea

Refill App will now help people in Bedford live with less plastic by making it easier to eat, drink and shop packaging-free

Plastic pollution campaigning organisation, City to Sea has announced that it is taking the Refill campaign to the next level. From today (1 October 2020) people in Bedford will be able to use a free app to find places to refill their coffee cup, lunchbox, groceries and even cleaning products and toiletries.

This dedicated app was designed to help people find where they can bring their own containers and refill, and being an aid to shunning single-use plastic for good.

The app will also highlight any available discounts that reward consumers for reducing packaging. Rebecca Burgess, City to Sea ceo, said:

“The expansion of Refill marks a positive and significant step in tackling the mountains of avoidable single-use waste created everyday.

“Refill has already proven that buying habits can change. Last year the bottled water industry reported their first decline in sales (£34.2 million loss) after significant growth for the last 5 years. We’re advocating this trend to expand beyond water to other reuse options.

“We now need business and the general public to truly build back better and work together to make pointless packaging a thing of the past.”

Convenience at a cost

In 2019, research from Hubbub, an environmental charity, found that 75% of the British public bought their lunch on-the-go each day, generating an estmiated 11 billion items of packaging waste a year. This works out at 276 items per person every year.

Research carried out by Delineate found that 93% of the British public are worried about plastic pollution. More than half said they are actively trying to buy groceries that are not sold in plastic packaging and 75% are willing to use refill services.

Less waste living made easy

The Refill app already connects people with over 30,000 locations for free drinking water, including over 20 in Bedford. Cory Walker, community lead for the Refill scheme in Bedford, said:

“This is such an exciting refresh of the Refill campaign and I cannot wait for local businesses to be a part of a now bigger scheme which focuses on more than bottle refills.”

Along with thousands of independent businesses (including over 100 zero-waste and packaging free shops) there are several leading retailers and brands involved.

  • Costa: offering a 50p discount of hot drink refills
  • Morrisons: have launched increased their offering of loose veg and encourage their customers to bring their containers to the cheese, meat and deli counters.

Businesses can sign up as a Refill Station by registering for free on the app. You can find out more about Refill Bedford on Facebook.

Water Refill using own container Image City to Sea