Signing up Stations in Cardiff

A student’s reflection on expanding the Refill Cardiff Campaign 

On the 2nd of March 2023 I, along with three other students, attended a volunteer day with City to Sea with the aim of signing local businesses up to the award-winning Refill app, with the aim of making it easier for people to choose refill and reuse in Cardiff City Centre. I usually struggle with my 9am starts at University, but this day started with a meeting time of 7am at Bristol Temple Meads where we travelled to Monmouthshire Building Society. Upon arrival we met with members of staff from both FOR Cardiff and Monmouthshire Building Society where we split into teams so that we could tackle the entirety of the city centre and make it into a competition of which team could sign up the most businesses to the Refill app!

If you’re from Cardiff, I’m sure you’ve heard of the famous Delboy. Well, I had the pleasure of meeting him and our team’s name was actually called the ‘Delboy Fanclub’ which won us some extra points! Thank you Delboy!

Signing up local businesses

After a short opening brief, we were sent on our way. My team began by approaching small cafés and independent food stores that might not have heard of the Refill campaign before and educating them on the benefits of the scheme for them and for the planet. If those business owners were interested in signing up to the scheme with us, we took their details and gave them their very own Refill sticker to put in the window of their business so passing customers could see that they are able to refill their bottles in-store.

I found it particularly refreshing to see how many people and organisations were motivated to help make a difference and reduce their single-use plastic consumption. I’d like to particularly shoutout Waterloo Tea who have been supporting the Refill campaign for a few years now and provide free refills across all their sites in Cardiff and Penarth. A representative from Waterloo Tea encourages “every business to get on board with the campaign. It’s so simple but very meaningful and can make an immediate impact.”

The Refill Cardiff Campaign

After two sessions of signing up small businesses to the Refill app, the four teams congregated back at Monmouthshire Building Society where we were greeted by some Welsh cakes from a member of FOR Cardiff (I can confirm they were 10/10!). In terms of success of the day, we found that most business owners were very interested in joining the scheme if they were able to. I’d also like to give a quick shoutout to the team at FOR Cardiff and Monmouthshire Building Society for their huge competitiveness and motivation which allowed us to sign up a total of 32 new businesses to the app!

The Refill Cardiff campaign has been supported by WVCA since 2021. Since then, City to Sea have added a total of 148 businesses to the app from Cardiff City Centre. This has enabled over 7,500 people in Cardiff to access places they can refill their water bottles!

As a volunteering student, I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to expand this already successful campaign. Working with City to Sea has really opened my eyes to the small changes we as individuals can make to our lifestyles, that can make BIG differences to the preservation of our planet.

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