Thursday, 07 July 2022

Campaigners urge businesses to join Refill revolution

Campaigners urge businesses to join Refill revolution

CAMPAIGNERS were in Henley town centre today (Thursday) to raise awareness and encourage businesses to join the Refill movement.

Refill is part of a national initiative designed to make the refilling of water bottles as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by introducing refill points on every street.

It is being spearheaded in Henley by former mayor Sarah Miller and environmental consultant Julia Carey.

The pair had a stall in Market Place where they told people of the campaign.

Gail’s Bakery, which opened last month in the same street, has signed up to Refill, taking the town total up to 21. All have a blue sticker on their windows to alert passers-by.    

Councillor Miller said: “Today is more of a refresher to get the word out again and get more businesses to sign up.

“We have lost businesses who have moved on, so we wanted to do remind people that Refill Henley is still here.

“It’s about educating people [about plastic pollution] as well and it’s great, people have been asking how to get involved.”

Mrs Carey said more people are looking after their environment, especially young people.

She said: “It’s just so satisfying to see things improving. Kids are using refillable water bottles and there’s the charge for plastic bags in supermarkets.

“Since I was little I’ve been picking up litter and when I came to Henley and saw how beautiful it was seeing our children swimming in the river, becoming a campaigner for clean water and for no plastic just made sense.”

Cllr Miller and Mrs Carey, who both live in Reading Road, set up the Henley Plastic Reduction page on Facebook in 2017 to engage with residents and businesses and it now has more than 800 members.

Cllr Miller now wants to install a water fountain in Market Place and has taken advice from the council in Marlow which has been able to achieve this.

She said: “It seems silly that we don’t have one when they are all over the country now. It doesn’t have to be some garish fountain just a simple place for people to fill their bottles.

“I want to see it this year, especially since climate is changing so quickly – it’s hotter for longer. On a day like this it would be very well used and people I’ve spoken to are very keen for this to happen.”

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