Morrisons is offering free water refills at its petrol stations to help motorists ditch single-use plastic bottles.
Research has found 63 per cent of Britons want to cut down on plastic waste, but claim they lack alternatives.
More than 14 billion single-use plastic bottles are used each year in the UK – 39 million a day – with the majority purchased on the go or at work.
Morrisons says it is now taking action after listening to customers. At its petrol forecourt kiosks, customers will be able to hand their reusable bottles to attendants who will fill them up before sanitising them and returning them to the customer.
The service will be available at all of its 338 filling stations nationwide.
The move comes after a 12-week trial in August 2020, during which 18 per cent fewer single-use water bottles were sold, in comparison to the same period the previous year.
Morrisons has already launched a refillable glass milk bottle trial
(Image: Mikael Buck)
Morrisons has already installed over 300 stand-alone water fountains in the Food-to-Go sections of its stores for customers to fill their bottles. It began to offer water refills in all of its in-store cafes in 2018.
Natasha Cook, the company’s sustainability manager, said: “When we listen to customers, it’s clear they want us to help them reduce the amount of single-use plastic they throw away.
“We know that customers often pick up a bottle of water when paying for petrol, so offering free water should be an effective way of reducing these single-use plastic bottles.”
Natalie Fée, CEO and founder of City to Sea, said: “Plastic water bottles are one of the most commonly found single-use plastic items on our beaches and in our oceans, which is why we have to make refilling our water bottles the new normal.
“Our free Refill app shows you where you can top up your bottle for free and now includes the 338 Morrisons petrol stations – which is absolutely brilliant news for people and the planet.
“But this isn’t just about water, it’s about all highly polluting single-use plastics. That’s why Refill now shows you where you can eat, drink and shop with less plastic and why City to Sea welcomed the fantastic news of Morrisons trialling refillable milk bottles back in store.
“Refill and reuse is the future of packaging, and Morrisons is taking big steps in helping us on this journey.”
Morrisons has already reduced plastic in its 497 stores by cutting plastic packaging on its own-brand goods.
It was also the first supermarket to ditch plastic carrier bags in favour of paper carrier bags, and it has a refillable container service on fish, meat and deli counters to reduce single-use packaging.
Customers can locate refill stations by using the Refill App and www.refill.org.uk.
For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea.