Original article from Kent Live
Supermarkets are finding themselves under increasing pressure to be more environmentally friendly.
And one store seems to be leading the way with new initiatives.
Morrisons is now offering its customers free water bottle refills at all its petrol stations, as well as in some stores, to encourage customers to be more eco-friendly.
This initiative aims to have shoppers and motorists make the switch from single-use plastic to reusable items, such as with the water bottles.
At Morrisons petrol forecourt kiosks, customers will now be able to hand their reusable bottles to attendants who will fill them up for free, before sanitising them and returning them to the customer.
The service will be available at all of Morrisons 338 filling stations nationwide.
The move comes after a 12-week Morrisons trial in August 2020 where 18% fewer single-use water bottles were sold, in comparison to the same period the previous year.
Morrisons is therefore extending the refill service following the trial’s success.
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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 on-the-go. It was also one of the first to offer water refills in all of its café stores nationwide in 2018.
Natasha Cook, Sustainability Manager at Morrisons, 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 the environmental group 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 are taking big steps in helping us on this journey.”
Free petrol station and in store refills is the latest plastic reduction initiative from Morrisons who has reduced plastic in their 497 stores by over 8,000 tonnes of their own brand plastic packaging since 2017.
They have also introduced a refillable container service on fish, meat and deli counters to further reduce single-use packaging.
Customers can locate refill stations by using the Refill App and www.refill.org.uk.