APPROPRIATELY on National Refill Day (Wednesday June 19) Manchester Food and Drink Festival has announced it is tackling plastic bottle pollution by joining forces with the national Refill Campaign. The aim is to sign up to 500 locations in Manchester to refill water bottles free of charge.
The Refill Campaignencourages participating cafes, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums and other businesses to sign up to the free Refill app and put a sticker in their window alerting passers-by to the fact they’re welcome to fill up their bottle gratis.
There are already 165 stations in Manchester and if MFDF achieves its target by the start of the Festival on Thursday, September 26 it will make us the most refillable city in the country.
MFDF are also encouraging people to ditch buying plastic bottles by making and selling special MFDF branded versions of the iconic Chilly’s re-usable water bottles at a very special price of £15 – usually, the world’s most effective and fashionable water bottles retail at £20.
They will be sold in conjunction with I Love MCR® and MFDF are encouraging customers to refill them when they need to at the city’s many new Refill points. The bottles will be sold online and at the Festival Hub, centre piece of the Festival, which is taking place for the first time on Cathedral Gardens from September 26 to October 6.
Participating sites in the city are already displaying stickers that show they are taking part and there will be many more on show in the run up to the Festival and beyond.
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.
Alexa Stratton-Powell, Director of MFDF (above right), said: “The Refill scheme in Manchester already has backing and we want to enhance this by recruiting even more businesses to take part and ensure that Manchester is the Refill capital of the UK. More and more people are ditching single use plastic bottles and by launching our very own refillable bottle we’re able to offer a practical solution and donate £3 per bottle from sales to the scheme to help spread the word and ensure more and more people refill their water bottle.”
Venues wanting to take part in the Refill Campaign should email George@foodanddrinkfestoval.com