Innovative new scheme in Daventry district to pummel plastic pollution

From left, co-founder of the Sheaf Street Health Store Shaun Higgs, Daventry District Council's environmental improvement officer Joely Slinn, partner at the Health Pod Carla Field, supervisor at Bread & Circus Kerrie Vogt, Paul Campbell of Campbell Property, and Lorna White of the Daventry Retail Forum at the launch of the Refill Daventry District scheme.
From left, co-founder of the Sheaf Street Health Store Shaun Higgs, Daventry District Council's environmental improvement officer Joely Slinn, partner at the Health Pod Carla Field, supervisor at Bread & Circus Kerrie Vogt, Paul Campbell of Campbell Property, and Lorna White of the Daventry Retail Forum at the launch of the Refill Daventry District scheme.

Thirsty shoppers will soon be able to refill their water bottles for free at a range of Daventry retailers, thanks to an innovative new initiative to save money and reduce the use of single-use plastic.

Daventry District Council is working with the Sheaf Street Health Store in town and the City to Sea campaign group on the Refill Daventry District project, which is encouraging district businesses to act as water refill stations.

Businesses that sign-up will be asked to put a sticker in their window telling passers-by that they are welcome to fill up their water bottle for free.

Already 11 town centre firms have added their names to the new scheme, including mutli-nationals and independent retailers.

Campbells Property in High Street, Evergreen Art Café in Sheaf Street, The Health Pod in St John's Square, Alpine Carpets in Station Close, Jeeves @54 in High Street, The Foundry in Foundry Court, Bread & Circus in Sheaf Street, Costa in Bowen Square, Greggs in Bowen Square, The Saracens Head Inn pub in Brooke Street and the Sheaf Street Health Store have all signed up, but the scheme is open to retailers across the district.

Companies can also add themselves to a mobile app run by the Refill campaign which people can download for free to help them find their nearest refill station.

Refill is an award-winning national campaign launched by City to Sea in 2015 in a bid to cut plastic bottle use. It's estimated that around 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are bought across the UK each year, resulting in substantial amounts of single-use plastic waste ending up in the world's oceans.

Councillor Jo Gilford, the environment portfolio holder at the district council, said: “Every time we refill a re-useable bottle instead of buying and throwing away a single-use bottle, we not only reduce the amount of plastic and fuel being used, but save a bit of money and help clean up our towns and open spaces too.

“We’re very grateful for the support of The Sheaf Street Health Store and City to Sea in getting this project off the ground in our district and I look forward to seeing more businesses signing-up as word spreads.

“Please look out for the Refill stickers in the windows of businesses across our district or check the free app to find out where you can refill for free.”

Shaun Higgs, co-founder of the Sheaf Street Health Store, said: “We’re lucky in Daventry to be surrounded by such beautiful countryside. This Refill scheme takes us one step closer to being a zero-waste town.”

And Natalie Fee, founder of City to Sea, added: “We’ve seen a huge appetite for our Refill campaign across the UK. Refill puts the power to stop plastic pollution in people's hands -- it's a fantastically easy way to reduce your plastic consumption and save money at the same time.

“Businesses can add themselves to the app, too, and help create the wave of change needed to keep plastic bottles out of our oceans."

People can find out more about the Daventry scheme via the website www.daventrydc.gov.uk/refill or by visiting the Refill website at www.refill.org.uk