News / Environment

Bristol businesses join ambitious pilot scheme to tackle single-use plastic

By nat schaefer, Monday Nov 18, 2019

People in Bristol will be able to easily find places to refill their reusable containers in an ambitious new pilot scheme.

High street chains including Costa, Asda and Morrisons will be taking part in the three-month pilot in the city, along with more than 30 independent businesses such as Better Food, Hobbs House Bakery and Windmill Hill City Farm.

City to Sea, the Bristol-based campaign to stop plastic pollution, are expanding their Refill app initiative to make it easier for people to reduce their use of single-use plastic.

The Refill scheme currently only covers reusable water bottles as there are currently more than 30,000 refill points listed in the UK and more than 250,000 people using the app.

This pilot, however, will allow app users to refill coffee cups, lunch boxes and even cleaning products, as well as water bottles.


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Rebecca Burgess, CEO of City to Sea, is enthusiastic about how many firms have signed up to the pilot and confident that it will be successful.

She said: “We’re thrilled to have so many businesses signed up in Bristol, our home city and where the Refill campaign started life.

“We want to make it even easier for people to say goodbye to single-use with the Refill app, allowing them to search for places where they can take a reusable container for hot drinks, lunch and household goods.

“It’s brilliant that Bristol is a leading light in this pilot and I know the community will come together to show the rest of the UK what’s possible.”

City to Sea have also been working with large employers and offices to provide reusable coffee cups and lunch boxes internally, since some people do not want to carry these around with them.

Already signed up to the scheme are Triodos Bank, The Soil Association and The Environment Agency.

Since the Refill initiative began, it has been supported by Water UK, the water companies in England and the Welsh Government, and is set to launch globally in 2020.

To download the app and find your nearest refill point, visit

Read more: ‘Refill puts the power to prevent plastic pollution in people’s hands’

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