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Put your tap on the map to reduce plastic litter

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We’ve launched a new campaign to get businesses on the coast to sign up to the Refill scheme which will tell visitors were they can get their water bottles refilled.

We want businesses to put their tap on the map and sign up to the Refill scheme to help reduce the amount of plastic bottles ending up on beaches and in the sea. Refill is an award-winning campaign which aims to prevent millions of plastic bottles ending up in the environment by making it easier to fill up a reusable bottle with tap water.

We know that most of our businesses on the coast are only too happy to fill up water bottles with tap water for visitors, but there are only three businesses in the AONB currently registered on the Refill App. This scheme gives people confidence that they won’t be turned away from somewhere or cause upset when they ask for their bottles to be refilled.

It has become a social norm to drink bottled water when we’re 'on the go’ even though we have some of the safest tap water in the world. In the UK alone we consume 13 billion plastic bottles a year. Many of these bottles are disposed of properly and recycled but some inevitably end up in the sea and on the beach.

Refill aims to make it easier for people to fill up their water bottles when they’re out by telling them which businesses near to them will do this.

Kate Sutherland runs the Stableyard at Craster and is one of the businesses already on the Refill App, Kate told me that they are only too happy to fill people’s water bottles at The Stableyard so letting them know this by being on the Refill App made perfect sense. As a business in the AONB she knows that a clean environment is one of the main reasons people come to the Northumberland coast and this helps to keep it that way.

If you’re a business with a tap that is happy to refill water bottles or has a publicly accessible tap you can join the scheme and feature on the app. Just visit refill.org.uk and register on the website.

We are already working with Coast Care, Plastic-free Beadnell and the North Northumberland Tourism Association to promote the scheme and are looking for more volunteers to speak to businesses in their own communities. If you are interested in volunteering to talk businesses where you live please contact Anna Chouler at Coast Care by email anna@coast-care.co.uk or call 07816 603953.

Encouraging businesses to sign up to the Refill App is the first campaign we’ve launched as a result of our recent beach litter survey. A social media campaign will begin at Easter to encourage visitors to reduce the environmental impact of their trip to the coast.

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Kate Sutherland at The Stableyard in Craster Photo: Iain Robson
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