As a result of public health concerns during the pandemic, many cafes and retailers in Cardiff temporarily stopped accepting reusables and increased their use of single-use plastic. This is despite experts stating that reusables are perfectly safe to use, and only 5% of customers feeling that single-use items are safer than reusables.
So ahead of the first-ever World Refill Day next month (16th June) City to Sea is encouraging a new wave of signups to the Refill app. They are welcoming businesses who already allow customers to bring their own containers or offer packaging- free options, or those who are looking to trial a refill service for the first time. Businesses are invited to use the app as a free marketing platform to drive footfall and increase sales.
New to the app this year is the Waterloo Tea chain of teahouses, which recently announced plans for a sixth site on Whitchurch Road.
Founder and Food Cardiff Strategy Board member Kas said
“Our tearooms have all recently been added to the Refill app; we display our sticker to let customers know that they don’t have to buy bottled water, they can refill their reusable water bottles with us for free. Next month, on World Refill Day, we will also be launching a new discount scheme for people who use their own takeaway coffee cups.”
Also recently signed up to the app is Kemi’s Café in Pontcanna. Patrick Nevins, who runs the popular independent café with his mum, Kemi, said “As a business, we are happy to help our customers reduce their reliance on single use packaging. We now offer free tap water refills and also allow customers to bring their own reusable coffee cups.”
Both businesses – alongside many others around Cardiff – can be seen adding Refill window stickers to their shop fronts in a new film aimed at driving business sign-ups, available here.
Other forward-thinking businesses in the food-to-go or retail sector are invited to share their involvement on social media using the hashtags #ReturnToRefill.
Jo Morley, Head of Campaigns at City to Sea said, “The pandemic unfortunately led to a huge increase in single-use plastic, but as move towards a sense of normality, we need to ensure we don’t see a repeat of the scenes of last summer where our beaches, parks and beauty spots were covered in pointless single-use packaging. Refill provides a simple way for businesses and consumers to take action to turn the tide on plastic pollution – as we prepare for the first ever World Refill Day next month (16th June), it’s time to get reusables back on the menu!”
Any business can sign up as a Refill Station and add their own details by registering for free on the app here.
City To Sea has also been awarded £49,999 from the Landfill Disposals Tax Community Scheme (LDTCS) to help cut plastic pollution in Cardiff.
The funding, which will be administered by the WCVA over the next two years, will help to reduce single use plastic waste by growing the number of businesses offering refill and reuse options across the city.
The LDTCS funds projects within five miles of certain waste transfer stations or landfill sites. In Cardiff, it will fund the expansion of City To Sea’s Refill campaign, via their multi-award-winning app which connects people to places to eat, drink and shop with less plastic.
HOW TO ENJOY A NO-CONTACT REFILL
Reusables can be used safely and accepting them doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact it can be super simple. Here’s how cafes and other businesses can offer a no-contact refill:
- Customers place their clean reusable bottle or container (lid off) onto a designated spot and steps back two metres.
- The server refills the container without touching it. The customer replaces the lid and takes away the container.
- Using a clean napkin, the server takes the customer’s container and fills it from the tap. The server replaces the bottle on the counter and disposes of the napkin.
- Customers celebrate reducing the prevalence of single-use plastic – diolch!