App helps fight plastic pollution

Downloading an app can help to cut down the use of single use plastics. Almost 1000 retailers in Devon are signed up to help reduce, reuse and refill.

Sunday 19th June 2022 6:00 am
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Empty plastic bottles
(Wiki Commons )

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If you’re concerned about plastic pollution and want to help turn the tide on plastic pollution and want to cut down on your use of single use plastics, you can download the Refill app.

Stopping using products with single use packaging, such as drinks and food, is easier than you think as the app allows you to tap into a global network of places to reduce, reuse and refill.

There are nearly 1,000 retailers in Devon listed on the app.

It’s estimated that in the UK 800 plastic bottles per minute end up being disposed of as litter, and all too often make their way into our waterways and out to sea. The United Nations says that globally 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year, half of which is single-use, with items ranging from bags to food wraps to bottles.

As these items have a lifespan of a few minutes to hours but can take hundreds of years before they fully degrade, we all need to reduce the number of things using single-use plastic that we buy – and reuse and refill wherever and whenever possible.

Previously, Devon County Council partnered with South West Water and Beach Care, part of the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, to promote and fund Refill Devon, encouraging businesses such as shops, cafes, garden centres and estate agents to allow thirsty folk in to refill their plastic bottle for free.

Devon County Council banned the use of single use plastics, including from plastic food and beverage packaging and tableware, two years ago.

The Refill app isn’t just about filling up your drinks bottle; it points you to a network of Refill and Zero Waste Stores giving customers the option of reusing and refilling containers again and again with anything from coffee beans, rice and pasta to cereals, spices, cooking oil and even personal care items like soap or shampoo.

Natalie Fee, founder of City to Sea, the driving force behind Refill said: “

“We want to see a world where everyone can choose to reuse wherever they shop, eat and drink. We knew the problem was much bigger than plastic bottles, so, we launched the world’s first dedicated app to help people find locations to reuse and refill, putting the power to stop plastic pollution at your fingertips and helping you live without the pointless packaging.”

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Communities and Equality, said:

“Single use plastics are a scourge on the environment, and much of the plastic ends up polluting the sea and endangering wildlife. That’s why Devon County Council phased out single use plastic food and beverage packaging in work locations, and why this app I believe will make a difference. “It’s good for the environment and, in the case of drinks bottles, it will encourage people to hydrate with water rather than with sugary drinks. So, it’s also good for your health.”

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