A scheme to reduce plastic waste could be coming to Leamington.
Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western has joined forces with BID Leamington to promote an idea that has already gained traction in other parts of the country.
The ‘Refill’ scheme coordinates participating cafes, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums and other businesses to simply place a notice in their window to display they are part of the scheme and passers-by are free to refill their water bottles.
Mr Western said: “I am pressing for a ‘Refill’ scheme for the local area by working with local businesses and BID Leamington to reduce the number of plastic water bottles being used each year.
“This is an opportunity to have new water fountains installed in public places but the scheme works readily with participating cafes, shops, hotels and others that are willing to refill local residents’ water bottles for free.
“This will also facilitate a wider conversation about reusable materials and ensuring an environmentally sustainable future.
“Refill currently operate schemes in nearby Banbury as well as in Bristol where the initiative first started.
“Warwick and Leamington could help take a lead in this way to help in the reduction of plastic waste.
“We need to drastically reduce the amount of plastic we use in order to help protect our environment and this is an innovative local strategy that should be introduced.
“It is a simple and completely free scheme which can radically reduce the number of water bottles being sold locally.”
A free mobile phone app will show people where they can refill on the go and people can add refill stations to the map.
Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said: “We are very keen to support local initiatives that will result in a reduction of plastic bottles and cups being thrown away.
“We hope that Leamington can lead the way on this issue and see this as part of a wider agenda we are exploring to improve waste management in the town.
“We are in the process of arranging a meeting of local business owners and have a discussion of ideas going on the town centre retailers’ Facebook page.”