Water bottle refill points will be established across the Wealden District Council area if a new project is successful.
The move is designed to reduce consumption of bottled water in an attack on single-use plastics.
The refill idea is simple – businesses sign up if they will allow people to refill their water bottle for free.
Observer said . . .
Our Saturday independent columnist floated the idea for Uckfield in August 2017.
The Refill movement has grown considerably since then.
Refill stations are now found in many places, especially railway stations.
Town council’s plan
At the same time as the Wealden initiative,Uckfield Town Council is working on phasing out single-use plastic in its offices – including Luxfords Restaurant – and hopes to spur other businesses to follow suit.
Wealden District Council has announced a three-part action plan to take a stand against single-use plastic.
Councillor Roy Galley, Wealden Cabinet member for Waste Management, said:
“Like many others, I was shocked to see the destruction plastic pollution is causing to marine wildlife on TV programmes like the BBC’s Blue Planet.
We have a good record when it comes to recycling plastics. But not all plastics can be recycled and some that can, never see a recycling bin.
“Once in the sea, plastics are often eaten by fish and marine mammals causing a painful death.
“In recent years we have become too reliant on plastics when alternative, re-useable solutions are at hand.
“Drinking water sold in plastic bottles is a good example.
“We want to help make refilling your own water bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by encouraging as many ‘Refill Stations’ in the district as possible.
“We will be working with the national Refill campaign to encourage cafes, bars restaurants, and other businesses in Wealden to sign up to the free Refill app and put a sticker in their window to let people know that they are welcome to fill up their bottle for free.
“We are looking to reduce the use of single-use plastics in our own workplace, particularly plastic cups, straws and cutlery and encourage our leisure partner, Freedom Leisure, to do the same.
“Leading by example, we hope local businesses will follow.
“It may only be a start, but if we all start something, we’ll get somewhere.”
The three part action plan, which focusses on the council’s own internal performance, businesses and communities, was approved at Wealden’s December Cabinet meeting.
The Cabinet Advisory Group on the economy and waste management has already met with local business representatives including the Federation of Small Businesses, chambers of commerce and the Edeal enterprise agency to explore ways in which benefits can be achieved.
The council will also seek the support of the many community groups that are involved in the Great Wealden Spring Clean to spread the message about Responsible Disposal.