Image of ONCA's Refill station window sticker

Why Refill makes me ‘appy

by Natasha Wiseman, ONCA Resident

I’ve just joined the co-working space at ONCA but I’ve been in the environmental sector for over a decade and more specifically in water and sewage.

First I was a journalist on trade magazines and now I do PR for a number of companies and organisations in the global water industry – that is the whole sector involved in getting clean water to the tap and taking away all the wastewater.

When I first came to view the office space at ONCA I was very pleased to see a sticker for the Refill initiative in the gallery window. Refill has been very successful in getting cafes, pubs, restaurants and even galleries to agree to replenish anyone’s water bottle on request.

It centres around the Refill app which you can download from app stores onto your smart phone right now. The app has a map which shows you where your nearest Refill station is – so you can get water without feeling bad about asking for free stuff. There’s even a photo to help you spot it.

The main idea is to reduce plastic waste, but hopefully it will also encourage more people to drink water rather than pop – which also comes in plastic bottles and is bad for your teeth to boot. It’s great news that Varndean has just become the first of the city’s schools to back the scheme.

Refill started in Bristol and Brighton was very quick to follow, not least because of the passion of Mala Nathan and her amazing team of volunteers who went out week after week signing up businesses. Now Mala is coordinator for the South East and Refill has spread throughout the UK – it’s even going global.

Brighton & Hove has amazing Refill coverage so there really is no excuse to buy single-use plastic water bottles in the city anymore – and you’ll save a fortune too.

Refill users can take it further and add new Refill stations to the app any time – I got Don Olé, the Spanish deli on the corner of Trafalgar Street, on board this week and added the drinking water fountain at a church in the tiny village of Montferrer in the Pyrenees when I was on holiday in April. It’s a great way to meet people and discover new places.

ONCA is supporting #PlasticFreeJuly and Brighton Refill coordinator Alice Doyle popped in this week to update us on the campaign. She shared more ways to help ditch the plastic:

Spread the word and make everyone Refill ‘appy!

By Natasha Wiseman, WiseOnWater