Today (the 19th of June) is National Refill Day, and we're SO here for it. It's an awesome movement set up by Refill, who are campaigning to “make plastic pollution a thing of the past” by making water bottle refill stations more readily available. Read on to find out how Refill can help, and how you can cut out the plastic that pops up where you least expect it…
According to the Economist, a survey has shown that ¾ of the British population think that single-use plastic should be regarded as a socially unacceptable accessory.
...so why did I manage to pick up 10 times this handful on my way home today?
Reports in April covering the huge 25% hit that Boston Tea Party saw after banning single-use cups comes as an upsetting surprise, then. If ¾ of the population is assumed to be ¾ of the customer base, then where’s the support? 0.25% of coffee cups are recycled (Source: House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee), so please bite the bullet and commit to carrying one around with you. 1 in 5 people visit a coffee shop every day, so it can’t be too hard to implement it into the daily routine! If a handbag holds you back, then why not look into getting a collapsible cup made by Stojo? The power to stop plastic pollution, tucked neatly into your pocket. Not only are we as a population not sticking to our guns, these opinions are hardly reflected in laws that govern the production of such plastic – and how can we expect them to be when they believe the economy is against it?
The first step is to show corporations that the demand simply isn’t there, and the Refill app can really help with that. There’s motivation on two levels: 1. You can monitor the impact you’re having by keeping a bottle out of landfill each time you refill, and 2. Every time you refill, Refill receive 13p to help fund conservation campaigns.
The second step is to stop being so passive in our approaches to conservation and hit ‘em where it hurts. Write, march, post, do whatever it takes to change even one person’s mind. People used to say that going vegan wouldn’t make a difference, but the proof is in the pudding: demand for meat and dairy is falling, and so are the companies that produce it.
There’s been a lull in support since the Extinction Rebellion protests ended, but why not organise your own activism? Check out Facebook or MeetUp to find some like-minded people, and get planning – there are some awesome NGOs that you could raise money for like PlasticOceans, or you could take to the streets, or you could look up how your local MP voted on the “Latte Levy” and write them a letter from the comfort of your own home.