The app helps fight plastic pollution

If you are concerned about plastic pollution and want to help reverse the trend of plastic pollution and want to reduce your use of single-use plastics, you can download the Refill app.

Stopping using products with single-use packaging, such as drinks and food, is easier than you think because the app lets you tap into a global network of places to reduce, reuse and recharge .

There are nearly 1,000 retailers in Devon listed on the app.

It is estimated that in the UK 800 plastic bottles a minute end up being discarded as litter and all too often end up in our waterways and the sea. The United Nations says that worldwide 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced each year, half of which is single-use, with items ranging from bags to food packaging to bottles.

As these items have a lifespan of minutes to hours but can take hundreds of years before they fully degrade, we all need to reduce the number of single-use plastic things we buy – and reuse and recharge wherever and whenever possible.

Previously, Devon County Council partnered with South West Water and Beach Care, as part of the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, to promote and fund Refill Devon, encouraging businesses such as shops, cafes, garden centers and estate agents to allow thirsty people to refill their free plastic bottle.

Devon County Council banned the use of single-use plastics, including plastic food and drink packaging and tableware, two years ago.

The Refill app isn’t just about refilling your beverage bottle; it directs you to a network of refill and zero-waste stores offering customers the ability to reuse and refill containers again and again with anything from coffee beans, rice and pasta to cereals, spices, oil cooking utensils and even personal care items like soap or shampoo.

Natalie Fee, Founder of City to Sea, the driving force behind Refill said: “

“We want to see a world where everyone can choose to reuse wherever they shop, eat and drink. We knew the problem was much bigger than plastic bottles, so we launched the world’s first dedicated app to help people to find places to reuse and refill, putting the power to stop plastic pollution at your fingertips and helping you live without unnecessary packaging.

Councilor Roger Croad, Cabinet Member of Devon County Council for Public Health, Communities and Equality, said:

“Single-use plastics are a blight on the environment, and much of the plastic ends up polluting the sea and endangering wildlife. That’s why Devon County Council has phased out plastic packaging for single-use foods and beverages in the workplace, and why this app I think will make a difference.” It’s good for the environment and, in the case of beverage bottles, it will inspire people to hydrating with water rather than sugary drinks, so it’s also good for your health.

Bryce K. Locke