This World Refill Day (16th June 2021), Jersey Water and Plastic Free Jersey have announced the launch of ‘Refill Jersey’ a campaign urging the Jersey public to Choose to reuse wherever they eat, drink and shop in order to cut down on plastic pollution.
Refill originated as a grassroots movement to help reduce plastic pollution at source by making it easier to reuse your own bottle with a free tap water refill rather than buy a new one.
The Refill campaign has now expanded to cover coffee on the move, lunch on the go, water fountains and plastic free shopping. The Refill app is an ‘on the go’ app to help people find the closest refill station for free drinking water, zero-waste shopping and hot drinks, all without the pointless packaging. Refill is also the UK’s leading ‘app for tap’, supported by the UK water industry utilities including Jersey Water and Guernsey Water. Over 30,000 businesses have joined the campaign to reduce single-use plastic bottles.
The Refill campaign primarily aims to change behaviour by encouraging people to ask for tap water refills in cafes, restaurants and commercial premises rather than buy water in single-use disposable plastic bottles.
If you are a business with a publicly accessible tap, or who accept reusables for refill, then all you need to do is give a few details to create your free profile on the app. Once your station is live, you’ll be ready to welcome refillers and benefit from increased exposure and footfall as a result.
As Jersey’s only supplier of treated mains water, Jersey Water is highly conscious of its responsibility to the environment. The company supports initiatives that encourage Islanders to consume more water without the environmental impact of single-use containers. During 2019 Jersey Water provided more than 70,000 litres of water via bulk water containers to local charity fund-raising events free of charge, including the Jersey Boat Show, Jersey Marathon, The Island walk, and the Out There and Weekender festivals.
CEO of Jersey Water, Helier Smith, is enthusiastic about the difference the Refill Jersey initiative could make: “Jersey Water wants to contribute to a more sustainable future, and we believe that the Refill Jersey campaign can help to change behaviour in a positive way. By encouraging people to ask for free refills of tap water in reusable water bottles we hope to reduce the dependency on buying water in a disposable plastic bottle.
“We have been giving away reusable and recyclable water bottles to schoolchildren and at various events in Jersey for the last few years, as well as running an educational programme in primary schools to encourage the children to look after our precious water resource. We also want to promote the health benefits of drinking water instead of sugary drinks as well as the cost benefit of tap water compared to bottled water or other drinks.”
Plastic Free Jersey founding member, Sheena Brockie, said: “We are delighted that Jersey Water has made a clear commitment to Plastic Free Jersey by supporting Refill and collaborating with us to set up Refill Jersey. We are thrilled to be working together on this vital work.
Jersey uses an estimated 40 million single use plastic bottles each year
“We need to think of the environmental legacy that we are creating for future generations: our children can see the warning signs around them and want to change the way things are done now to ensure that their future is not compromised. The issue of single-use plastic is especially poignant as, despite its negative effect on the environment, production of plastic packaging is predicted to double by 2050. There appears to be a disconnect between plastics use and its part in the climate emergency. We need positive action to prevent this becoming our legacy.”
Eco active Jersey has been at the forefront of highlighting the damage that plastic is causing our environment. Jane Burns, the Government of Jersey Eco Active Programme Manager said: “In Jersey we use an estimated 40 million single use plastic bottles each year, of which only 8% are currently sent for recycling.
When we talk about waste, we talk of the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reduce comes first as it is the best option for the environment. If we don’t produce waste, then we don’t need to worry about how we dispose of it. Recycling is great but using a reusable water bottle is even better. By encouraging people to carry a reusable water bottle we are making a positive choice environmentally as we are eliminating the production of the single use bottles, transportation to Jersey as well as the processing involved in recycling when we have used those bottles”