The Refill campaign is being backed by climate activist group Sustainable Bridgnorth and has already seen more than 25 venues in the town sign up.
Launched by plastic pollution campaigning organisation, City to Sea, the project has expanded with an app which allows people in Bridgnorth to find places to refill their coffee cup, lunch box, groceries, cleaning products and toiletries. It will also highlight discounts available, rewarding consumers for reducing packaging.
The app already connects people with over 30,000 locations for free drinking water, including 25 places in Bridgnorth and for more in the surrounding area. It also includes locations such as zero-waste shops, plastic-free retailers like butchers, bakers and green-grocers and large chains such as Costa and Morrisons, which operate in-store refill options.
The Refill Bridgnorth scheme was set up as part of the Prevent Pointless Plastic campaign run by Sustainable Bridgnorth. Chairman of Sustainable Bridgnorth, Kath Norgrove, said: “It's fabulous that so many people want to do their bit.
"Following on from our recent award by marine conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), we're looking to expand our Refill Bridgnorth campaign to go further. We want to expand beyond drinking water to include refills of coffee, lunch, groceries and more, not just in Bridgnorth itself but out in the district. Businesses can sign up as a Refill station by registering for free on the app.”
Sam Amery, owner of the newly launched shop in Cartway, The Refill Room, and Giovanni's next door, added: “As businesses, we take the responsibility of reducing waste and single-use plastic, both our own and what we sell. The Refill Room stocks a wide range of products that customers can fill their own containers with. Giovanni's have started warm bagels wrapped in just paper as a savoury lunch option and offer a discount for anyone who brings their own reusable cups for drinks. This app will help people to find the places they can shop in a more sustainable way and is a great way to demonstrate the plastic we are saving as a community. People can now show how they are helping."
Rebecca Burgess, CEO of City to Sea, said: “The expansion of Refill marks a positive and significant step in tackling the mountains of avoidable single-use waste created everyday. Refill has already proven that buying habits can change. Last year the bottled water industry reported their first decline in sales after significant growth for the last five years. We’re advocating this trend to expand beyond water to other reusable options. We now need businesses and the general public to truly build back better and work together to make pointless packaging a thing of the past."