New scheme to make Swaffham a greener town
Businesses taking part in Swaffham’s eco-friendly water refill scheme now have reusable water bottles to give away.
The Refill:Swaffham project launched officially on Friday at The Green Parrot Health Food Store and Therapy Clinic, and now they, and other participating businesses, have a stock of reusable stainless steel water bottles to give away to people who visit them.
The bottles have been provided by Breckland Council’s Market Town Initiative, to raise awareness of the Refill scheme and encourage people to use it.
The Market Town Initiative has ringfenced £150k of funding for each of Breckland’s five market towns, and Refill:Swaffham is just one of the schemes that will make Swaffham a ‘greener’ town.
Officers from Breckland Council have contacted local business owners to help them sign up to the scheme and join the list of existing participants. The full list can be found on the Refill app. and those businesses that have a stock of reusable bottles include The Green Parrot, The White Hart and Puff‘n’Stuff in the Market Place, and the Swaffham Community Centre in Campingland.
The Green Parrot isn’t just encouraging less plastic use through the scheme - it has a new refill room where anyone can bring along their own containers and fill them up with a range of foods like rice, sugar, nuts and dried fruit without any packaging at all.
Beverley Foulkes, owner of The Green Parrot, said: “I think free water bottle refills are a very easy thing for businesses to be able to offer and yet it makes a big impact on the environment. I’d absolutely encourage other businesses to sign up.”
Kurt Oliver, the owner of The White Hart pub, said: “We’ve been signed up to the refill scheme for a while and it’s been great for us. We have a few groups of local cyclists who always pop in and fill their bottles and stay for a sandwich usually.
"As businesses we’ve all got a responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment, and a refill scheme is just one of the many small things that we do here to reduce our impact. I’d absolutely encourage other business owners to join the scheme: it will increase your footfall and anything we can do these days to get more people in is great for any business.”
Julie Foley, the owner of Puff ‘n’ Stuff vape shop, said: “We were part of the council’s promotion of Sustainable Swaffham previously - the tote bags the council gave us to give away were really popular with our customers, so we were happy to be involved with the refill scheme. We all need to think about how we can reduce our use of plastic, and this is a small thing that we’re glad to do. Every little helps, as they say!”
Cllr Paul Claussen, executive member for economic development and growth, said: “Refill is a national scheme and Swaffham is the first town in Breckland to join: look out for us on the Refill website very soon. We’re thrilled because every step towards getting rid of single use plastics, however small, is important.
Refill works by connecting people who want to fill up their water bottles while they’re out and about with businesses who are offering them the facilities to do so, free of charge. The connection is made through the official Refill app, which is free to download for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets, or by looking out for a Refill sticker in a businesses’ door or window.