A new project called ‘Refill Burnham-On-Sea’ aims to make refilling water bottles in the town centre as easy, convenient and cheap as possible, in a bid to reduce plastic waste.

The new Refill Scheme has launched in Burnham this week and encourages participating cafés, bars, restaurants, banks and other businesses to sign up to a free Refill phone app and put a sticker in their window to let passers-by know that they’re welcome to fill up their water bottle for free.

Burnham-On-Sea & Highbridge Town Council is launching ‘Refill Burnham-On-Sea’, and the project’s champion, Town Clerk Tatiana Cant, says she hopes businesses and customers will get involved.

“Here in Burnham-On-Sea we’re rightly proud of the area’s wonderful coastline,” she told Burnham-On-Sea.com. “Plastics, including single-use plastic bottles, are now the most frequently found type of litter on UK beaches and you don’t have to look far to find them littering our towns and green spaces too.”

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council has joined the scheme and it is now offering free water refills at both the Princess Theatre and Town Council offices in Jaycroft Road.

Litter Free Coast & Sea Somerset representative Chloé Walker-Panse has also showed her support and explained that the group has been encouraging the council and local businesses to sign up to the Refill scheme.

Tatiana added: “This scheme fits in perfectly with the Council’s commitment to its recently adopted Green Charter and application to Surfers Against Sewage to become a Plastic Free Community. Refill Burnham-On-Sea gives us all the opportunity to help make this type of litter a thing of the past at the same time as saving money.”

“It’s good business sense as well as customers view businesses that provide free water refills more favourably and are more likely to return to them to make future purchases. We are delighted that other businesses in the town have already signed up to be Refill Stations: Gardiner-Whites, Costa Coffee, The Reeds Arms and the BARB/RNLI/BiARS station on the Esplanade.”

Refill Burnham-On-Sea builds on the success of Refill around the UK, which now boasts a network of over 10,000 Refill Stations.

The average adult buys more than three plastic water bottles every week – a startling 175 bottles every year per person. In total, some 7.7 billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year, resulting in substantial amounts of single-use plastic waste ending up in our oceans.

City to Sea, a not-for-profit organisation headed by entrepreneur Natalie Fee, launched the award-winning Refill Scheme in 2015. It’s estimated that the scheme, now being rolled out nationwide with support from Water UK and local water companies, will cut plastic bottle use by tens of millions each year, as well as substantially increasing the availability of high quality drinking water.

The Regional Coordinator at the local water company explains why they’re supporting Refill Burnham-On-Sea: “We’re so excited that Burnham-on-Sea is joining the Refill movement and making a real difference by reducing reliance on single-use plastics. Every time we refill a re-usable bottle we save our own money and the planet’s resources, and all those individual refills add up to a huge impact. It’s great to see local businesses starting to support Refill Burnham-On-Sea by signing up to provide free refills.”

Find out more about Refill Burnham and how you can take part at www.burnham-highbridge-tc.gov.uk. Visit the Refill web site at www.refill.org.ukto download the free Refill app and find out more about the Refill movement.