Start a Refill Scheme

Hooray! You’re here because you’re interested in bringing the Refill Revolution to your local area by starting a Refill scheme. Before we dive into the details, let’s make sure you’ve got all the information you need to make sure starting a scheme is the right choice for you.

You’ll also want to make sure that there’s not already a scheme in your area. If there is – great news. Get in touch with them and find out how you can work together. You can take a look at the map here to find out if there’s one near you.

What does a Refill Scheme do?

First, of all let’s unpick what a Refill Scheme really is and why its’ so important to helping the Refill campaign grow. The role of a Refill scheme is to establish the campaign in your local area, signing up Refill Stations and mapping the places where people can access free tap water, or shop plastic free. These businesses could be anything from high-street chains and businesses like Costa Coffee, to local Zero-waste shops, bakeries, greengrocers or even local park or tourist attraction.

You’ll also engage your local community, and sign post them to the Refill app to help them live with less plastic. You’ll connect with other initiatives working to reduce single-use plastic and support other reuse schemes like deposit return schemes and cup schemes.

Between them, our community-based Refill Schemes have put thousands of Refill Stations on the map, working in their local community & helping to stop millions of plastic bottles at source. There are now hundreds of Refill Schemes around the world from London to Latin America.

Local vs National?

We have two levels of Refill Schemes – local and national.

National Refill Schemes

A national scheme represents a whole country – like Refill Wales, Refill Chile, or Refill Italy. These schemes are funded and have a dedicated resource who works to co-ordinate the local schemes in that country and to engage the big corporate, chains and transport hubs within that country. They will lead on big partners and often work with governments to drive policy change or meet waste and pollution reduction targets. If you’re interested in leading Refill in your country, please do get in touch. Or, if you’re interested in funding Refill in your country, we’d love to hear from you!

Local Refill Schemes

A local Refill Scheme is a smaller group representing Refill in their local area – for example a town, city or region. You might work for your local council and have objectives around reducing waste in your city, you might be a passionate environmental campaigner working for an NGO or, you might a community group concerned about litter in your area. Local Refill Schemes are run by different groups that share the same drive and passion. If this sounds like you then read on!

If you are operating on your own as an individual, we suggest starting out as a Refill Volunteer first or finding a local group or organisation to work with before applying to set up a Refill Scheme.

Whatever your scheme set up, here’s what we expect to see:

  1. A dedicated group of people committed to preventing plastic pollution and tackling the climate crisis in their local area with time allocated to managing their Refill Scheme.
  2. The sign-up of local shops, businesses and community buildings as Refill Stations. This means they are listed on the Refill app and have stickers in windows of Refill Stations so people know they can refill there.
  3. You’ll tell people about the campaign, so they know to use the app to find locations to refill and how to live with less plastic.
  4. Once you’ve set up your local scheme, you’ll want to tell people about it. We would expect a Refill scheme to do this by setting up a social media presence, organising action days, engaging with the local community and businesses and contacting local media. We provide guidance, templates and training on how to do this so don’t worry!
Sounds like a lot of work?

Well, it’s true that getting a local Refill Scheme off the ground can be time-consuming, but it’s also a LOT of fun and will enable you to have a real impact on a local and global level. We want to make sure you know what’s involved and that we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Here’s what you can expect from us:

  • Access to the Community Schemes Slack Platform
  • Access to the Refill brand and marketing materials including social media assets, posters and postcards
  • A launch pack including a Schemes guide and social media guide
  • Free webinar training sessions
  • Monthly newsletter
  • Window and bottle stickers
  • Press guidance and PR template and training

Getting Started! 

If all of that sounds good to you and you’d like to sign up to become a Refill Scheme, the next step is to fill in an application form. It’s super simple and is purely so we know who you are and how you’ll run your local Refill Scheme so we can support you in the best way possible. We will manage all information ourselves and securely store any data so you can rest assured this won’t be shared with anyone else!

The application process:
  1. We’ll review applications once a month and will be in touch once we’ve read your application.
  2. We’ll then arrange an initial call with you to check in and make sure you’ve had the opportunity to ask any questions before you officially sign up.
  3. The next step will be to sign a memorandum of Understand (MOU). Which is an agreement between the two of us to confirm that we’ll commit to doing certain things. We believe it’s important to have a shared understanding in place to help the Refill message have its greatest impact. This agreement is here to help us clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of each party as they relate to the delivery of the Refill campaign and your Refill Scheme. You can see an example of one here.
  4. Once you have signed your MOU, we’ll provide you with resources you will need to get your Refill Scheme up and running and start promoting the campaign.

Refill Scheme Expression of interest form

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