Plastic Free Letchworth calling on businesses to encourage reusable containers

survey team, Diane Ketcher, Glyn Holt, Julia Sonander, John Webb

L-R: Survey team, Diane Ketcher, Glyn Holt, Julia Sonander and John Webb - Credit: Transition Town Letchworth

Members of the Plastic Free Letchworth team were in the town centre on Monday raising awareness of the first ever World Refill Day.

World Refill Day takes place on June 16, and ‘City to Sea’, the organisation which is coordinating events nationally, is encouraging people to join in by bringing their reusable water bottles, coffee cups and other containers into town to use on the day.

Every time someone refills a bottle rather than throwing a plastic one away, they are reducing the amount of plastic which reaches the ocean.

City to Seas’ Refill app, which can also be accessed online at, helps people locate places to refill their water bottle.

In the town centre the app currently identifies 17 refill locations. City to Sea estimate that in 2019 the refill scheme saved over 100 million single use bottles from entering our waste stream.

Plastic Free Letchworth is seeking to persuade more local businesses to fill customers’ reusable containers, whether water bottles, coffee cups, takeaway food boxes or shampoo bottles and to promote this service on the refill app.

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In Letchworth, Bamboo Turtle and Fairhaven offer extensive refill services for all sorts of products, but the Plastic Free Letchworth team are aware of other businesses which offer refill options and they are keen for these services to be promoted on the Refill App.

Team leader Diane Ketcher said: “Initial conversations have shown that about 75 per cent of the businesses we have visited, which were mainly cafés, are willing to refill customer own containers.

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"COVID has led to changes in the way businesses are operating but we have been sharing ideas on techniques for providing a coffee that are just as safe as filling a single-use cup, including the 'contactless coffee' method.

"Over the next week we are planning to display posters around the town to remind the public to ‘use their reusables’ and we will also be visiting the takeaway businesses that were closed at the time of our initial survey to find out their policies on refilling containers."

The Plastic Free Letchworth Team is hoping that the public will make June 16 the day they embrace the #RefillRevolution and take their reusables to town.

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