Thursday (16 June) was World Refill Day – a campaign spearheaded by UK-based environmental campaign group City To Sea, perhaps best known for its ‘Refill’ work. This workstream has seen more than 30,000 venues across the world signing up to offer visitors free tap water.
While City to Sea marked the occasion with a new Bristol-wide coffee cup reuse and return scheme, other organisations took different approaches. The Body Shop issued an update on its in-store refill schemes for products such as shower gels, confirming that refill stations have been installed in 556 of its stores worldwide. At each of these stores, 20% of shoppers are using this services, with the proportion increasing for customers under 35.
Also in retail, Sainsbury’s launched a refillable version of its own-brand handwash, claiming that shoppers who use the one-litre refill pouches will use 85% less plastic than purchasing four 250ml bottles. The pouches are made using flexible plastic which is not collected by many councils at kerbside, but which can be returned to Sainsbury’s stores for recycling. Sainsbury’s is aiming to halve the amount of plastic used for packaging by 2025, against a 2017 baseline.