Today, 19th June, marks National Refill Day, a day set up by City To Sea, encouraging us all to switch from single-use plastic bottled water and instead invest in a reusable water bottle and refill. There has been some interesting stats thrown out by the BBCs documentary War On Plastic, where Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall also launched his #refillontheroad campaign to encourage petrol stations to install refill points across the UK.
Disappointingly, despite our increased awareness of the damage being caused by plastic pollution bottled water sales saw an increase of 7% last year with the industry currently worth 2.4 billion pounds in the UK alone. In the UK we buy more than 35 million bottles a day with 16 million of those being discarded every single day, not recycled but instead sent to landfill, incineration or littered.
During the first episode of War On Plastic scientific data revealed that there is no evidence that bottled water is any better for you than the clean tap water freely available, with tests showing similar and in some cases better mineral levels (such as Calcium and Magnesium) in tap water. ReFill reports that 30% of us are drinking bottled water at home, where we have access to safe and just as good water from our taps. Tap water also fairs better with regards to contamination to microplastics with reports showing 93% of bottled water tested showed contamination compared to 72% of tap water in Europe.
Thanks to the great ReFill campaign by City To Sea topping up on water while out and about has never been easier with their app showing registered refill points across the UK, with there currently being over 20,000 refill stations with over 100,000 people using the app. ReFill estimates that if 1 in 10 Brits refilled just once a week 340 million water bottles would be saved from use in a year.
Use this National Refill Day to break free from bottled water. Invest in a reusable water bottle, there are a range available in the shops, from entry price point basic bottles to more advanced insulated bottles that help keep cool water cold and even bottles with filters if you prefer a filtered water taste. If you’re a sparkling water fan take a look at soda streams so you can create and bottle your own fizzy water at home. And if you’re already a converted refiller maybe use the day to campaign for more refill points, helping Hughs campaign to get petrol stations involved too or encourage friends and family to do the same!
More info on ReFill and App
More info on City To Sea
To find BBCs War On Plastic
For more info on microplastics in water