Banbury has joined the campaign to protect the seas and oceans by reducing the reliance on disposable plastic water bottles, following the launch of the Refill scheme.
Already 20 local businesses have signed up to the initiative, which seeks to connect thirsty people with cafes, shops and offices willing to offer free tap water refills.
Participating businesses register with an app and also place a sticker in their window alerting passers-by that they are a Refill site, regardless of whether they are customers or not.
The scheme, which is sponsored by Bicester-based business BRITA UK, has the backing of Victoria Prentis MP who officially launched the scheme last week.
Mrs Prentis said: “I am thrilled to launch the Refill scheme in Banbury and Bicester. Disposable bottles can be so damaging to the environment, but they are often hard to avoid, especially when out and about.
“The simplest solutions are usually the most effective. Refill enables people to do their bit while going about their everyday lives.”
Research conducted by BRITA UK and Keep Britain Tidy revealed that 59 per cent of us would be more likely to use a reusable water bottle if refills were more freely available.
Banbury, along with Bicester who have also joined the scheme, are the tenth and eleventh towns in England to sign up to Refill, which was first launched by anti-plastic pollution charity City to Sea in Bristol in September 2015.
Britons use 7.7bn single-use plastic bottles every year despite the fact they are expensive to produce and create mountains of waste.
An estimated 800 plastic bottles a minute are either ending up in landfill or as litter
Sarah Taylor, managing director of BRITA UK, said: “BRITA UK is delighted to be supporting the launch of Refill in Bicester and Banbury. We all know how important it is to stay hydrated on the go, but it can be really difficult to find somewhere to fill up for free or get a glass of water.”
Natalie Fee, founder of City to Sea, said: ‘Thanks to our partnership with BRITA UK, shoppers and commuters in Banbury and Bicester will never have to buy expensive, environmentally catastrophic bottled water again.”
The Refill app is available from www.refill.org.uk/get-the-refill-app or from the Play store on android devices.