Worthing steps up war on single-use plastics as refill scheme launched

A network of water stations are springing up around Worthing as part of a major campaign to break our disposable plastic habit.

The environmental scheme, called Worthing Refill, wants to encourage residents to do just that; refill existing bottles of water rather than buy new plastic bottles of ‘liquid of life’.

But organisers recognise they can only succeed if there is an easily available network of Refill stations to access water. So the Refill scheme has signed up local businesses, cafes and other venues including Worthing Borough Council offices so that people can refill for free.

Refill Worthing already has more than 40 water Refill stations and more locations are being added every day.

The scheme is officially launched on Wednesday (August 15) with a lunchtime publicity blitz and an official reception at St Paul’s cafe in Chapel Road between 5.30pm and 8pm.

It will feature speeches from renowned environmental experts Atlanta Cook (Surfers Against Sewage) and Cat Fletcher (Freegle UK, Brighton Waste House), as well as stalls, workshops about plastics reduction and a prize draw to win a beautiful refillable bottle. All are welcome.

Cllr Edward Crouch, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Digital & Environmental Services,said: “This is an excellent scheme which we are only too happy to support. The amount of plastics being dumped in our environment and our seas is one of the biggest issues of today and people are beginning to respond by cutting down on their purchase of disposal one-off plastics as well as rightly questioning how much plastic goes into everyday items.

“I’m pleased so many businesses and venues are on board with this scheme supplying free water sources.”

Key stats include:

  • a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute;
  • an average UK household uses 480 plastic bottles a year but only 270 of these are recycled, that’s nearly half not put in the recycling;
  • over 35 million plastic bottles are being used every day in the UK, but 16 million are not put out for recycling;
  • plastic bottles can take 450 years to break down in the environment, but never disappear – they just break down into smaller and smaller particles.

But the tide is turning and we can all do our bit which is where Refill comes in.

A Refill app is now available showing people where the current stations are in the town and allows new venue owners to join in by placing their own places on the map.

Worthing Climate Action Network is leading Refill Worthing, supported by Worthing Borough Council, Transition Town Worthing, West Sussex County Council and Southern Water.

Michelle Furtado, of Worthing Climate Action network, said: “This scheme is an excellent way for people to start reducing their use of single-use plastics whilst keeping our communities properly hydrated during this scorching summer.

“We now have over 40 trailblazing Refill Stations signed up to support the scheme and this is growing all the time. I’m looking forward to using this scheme as a platform for discussion and action to help people break their plastic habit. Together, Worthing can make a real difference in reducing plastic waste.”

More details will be on social media pages, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching for @RefillWorthing.

Download the app and get involved. For further information or to sign up as a Refill Station email AdurWorthingRefill@gmail.com.


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