One Eco-Friendly App’s Mission to Cut Plastic

Refill app shown in use on a smart phone

The expansion of an environmental campaign has seen use of plastic bottles cut by around 100 million. The award-winning campaign, Refill has prevented 30,000 pieces of plastic use in Oxford and Bristol areas. The City to Sea campaign is a not-for-profit organisation, working to stop plastic pollution. Founding partners, Water UK and Chilly’s are some brands who have teamed up to support the Refill campaign in their growth and development.

The campaign’s newly launched app, found on Android and Apple stores, helps people find places to eat, drink and shop packaging-free with Morrisions, LUSH and Costa just some examples of some of the brands involved. Eco friendly products company, Company & Co have also recently joined the fight against plastic and have become Refill’s new official partner. Users can now access the free app to find places to refill their coffee cups, lunchboxes, groceries as well as cleaning products and toiletries, making it the world’s first dedicated app to help people find places to bring their own containers and refill.

Refill is a City to Sea campaign – a not-for-profit organisation, campaigning to stop plastic pollution. The organisation led the ban on plastic cotton buds with its #SwitchtheStick campaign in 2016. Over 150,000 people signed their petition calling on UK retailers to ‘switch the stick’ from plastic to paper and as a result, nine big retailers said yes, saving 478 tonnes of plastic from entering waste streams each year.

Rae Stanton-Smithson, Earthcare Retail Lead at LUSH commented, “We are so excited to be able to  share in the launch of City to Sea’s wonderful new app. In an increasingly ‘throw-away’  world, it is more important than ever to regenerate our ways of doing business. At LUSH we are on a journey to drive the cosmetics revolution and invite everyone to come along with us!  Collaborating with organisations, such as City to Sea, to help customers easily develop  lifestyles beyond just sustainability, is an important step in our vision to ‘Leave The World  Lusher Than We Found It’. From naked products, to packaging innovation and recycling  developments, there’s a whole host of ground-breaking initiatives we want to share with the  world. Engaging people through the Refill app is a fantastic way to invite everyone to come  and see what’s going on inside LUSH. Another way is possible, let’s go!”

Policy and Media Manager at Refill, Steve Hynd adds, “The expansion of Refill is a huge step in enabling consumers in tackling the mountains of avoidable single-use waste created everyday. We started as a small pilot project in Bristol in 2015 but we can now use the app everywhere from Bristol to Berlin and beyond. We have grown to having hundreds of thousands of places people can Refill around the world, but our job will be to look to keep growing that number.”

He continues, “We know we can stay safe and look after the planet, and at City to Sea we want to make it easier for people to eat, drink and shop without the pointless plastic. From a coffee on your commute, to drinking water on the go, or even shopping with less packaging, Refill puts the power to reduce plastic at your fingertips in more and more countries around the world.”

Forward thinking businesses can sign up as a ‘Refill Station’ by registering for free on the app.  Download the free app here to find out where to fill up: https://refill.org.uk/get-the-refill-app/

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.

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