About Refill

Refill is a national, practical tap water campaign that aims to make refilling your bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by introducing Refill Stations on every street.

We know water fountains can be expensive to install and maintain, so now friendly cafes, shops, hotels and businesses are welcoming you in to refill your water bottle – for free! Refill is currently happening around the UK – have a look here to see a list of current Refill schemes!

How does it work? 

Participating cafes, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums and other businesses simply put a sticker in their window – alerting passers-by to the fact they’re welcome to come on in and fill up their bottle – for free! Download the free Refill rewards app to see where you can Refill on the go, or add new places to Refill yourself!

No Refill Stations where you live? Start adding them to the map!  

Our free Refill rewards app allows you to add Refill Stations to the map. Just press and hold the point on the map you want to add a Refill Station and follow the instructions! It’s super simple to populate your local village, town or city with Refill Stations so you need never buy a plastic bottle again!

Why carry a bottle with you?

Single-use plastic bottles are expensive to produce, use up valuable natural resources to make and transport and create mountains and mountains of waste once we’ve gulped down the contents. And recycling’s not the answer either, according to the latest figures from recyclenow.com here in the UK an estimated 11,000 plastic bottles a MINUTE are either ending up in landfill or as litter, which will too often make its way into our waterways and out to sea. Read more about marine plastic pollution here. 

By buying a reusable water bottle you will also save yourself a small fortune and they often pay for themselves within a week going on to save you money with every free Refill from then on!

Who’s behind the campaign?

City to Sea launched Refill Bristol in September 2015 and there are now over 10,000 Refill Stations around the UK. Our free app shows you where you can refill for free, allows you add Refill Stations and even rewards you for your Refills! City to Sea also licence other Refill Schemes – find out how you can launch one in your area here!

From 2018 we are pleased to announce our partnership with Water UK and all the major Water Companies in England to help deliver Refill all across the country.

We are also looking to partner with the Welsh Government and Hafren Dyfrdwy and Dwr Cymru to help deliver Refill Cymru.

Potted history – How we began
When City to Sea‘s founder, Natalie Fee, was inspired to do something about the increasing volume of plastic bottles washing up along the banks of the river Avon in Bristol, she turned to her local community to ask their opinion on what should happen. Over a series of public events, it was agreed that the city needed more water fountains and an easily accessible, free network of shops, cafes and restaurants providing free water refills.
It was suggested we look at the community scheme, ReFILL Bude, launched in 2015 by local volunteer Deb Rosser with support from BeachCare / Keep Britain Tidy. They’d developed a successful model which involved selling reusable water bottles to raise funds for the local sea pool. BeachCare generously offered us use of their posters for us to pilot Refill Bristol in 2015.

Keep it clean!

Recent studies have found that many people aren’t washing their reusable bottles as often as they should. You don’t have to get carried away – just remember to wash them as often as you would a glass at home. 🙂

When Refilling the bottle should never touch the tap/jug – keep an ‘air gap’ – to avoid any potential of contamination and if you are handing over your bottle to be refilled take off the lid yourself and when refilling never touch your hand to the neck of the bottle/glass.

If you feel a Refill Station is unhygienic please report this through the feedback section on the app and as a Refiller, if someone’s bottle smells bad or looks filthy, you don’t have to Refill it.