Be a part of the solution don’t add to the pollution!
Hounslow Highways are happy to announce they have recently been added to Refill’s station list. This means that anyone using Refill’s app will find out that, starting from this summer, they can gain access to free and fresh water, no questions asked, if they visit our main offices in Jubilee House.
The impetus for Hounslow Highways decision to join Refill was twofold. Originally it was flagged as a great solution to limiting the number of plastic bottles consumed in Hounslow. This is true and provides one small step in reducing consumer pollution but it also provides a way of improving life for all employees working in the field. Sometimes the simplest of ideas, prove to be the best.
As any Refill station such as the local Costa Coffee allows for you to simply walk in and ask for water, it means that field operatives no longer have to come all the way back to the station to stay hydrated but instead can go somewhere near them by checking their Refill app.
The other issue is one that has been a core problem for Hounslow and the United Kingdom in general, which is the overabundance of single use plastics. Plastic bottles of water in particular contribute enormously to this problem, especially during warm summers where many people will purchase multiple bottles during a day out. After seeing how the 5p charge to plastic bags has significantly decreased their use in the UK and created a cultural shift among almost every demographic towards using recyclable or multi use bags, Hounslow Highways have been hard at work searching for equally effective schemes to reduce plastic bottle consumption.
We feel the ‘Refill’ could be the solution we have been searching for. Its simplicity and almost negligible cost will hopefully create a phenomenon with more and more businesses following Hounslow Highways example and signing up. Knowing that if you travel with a refillable water bottle you will be able to replenish wherever you are and whenever you need to, could be even more successful at beating the scourge of plastic pollution than even the massive reduction of plastic bag usage has been. Hounslow Highways is keen to promote this scheme and lead the way in Hounslow but wouldn’t it be great if Hounslow was able to ‘spread the word’ and lead the way in what could be a global shift in thinking about water consumption?
There are also hidden benefits to getting more organisations to join the Refill family as employees at Hounslow Highways were delighted to find out. For example, in June-July 2019 Twickenham had a serious failure with its water pipes meaning that many residents were left stranded without fresh water or concerned about its short-term future availability. However, a resident using the app was able to contact Hounslow Highways and we confirmed that we were able to still access clean drinking water and were happy to provide it to all who came. This not only helped to advertise the scheme but also made us a very popular watering hole for many affected!
Martin Clack (Divisional Director) said, “It was fantastic to see on our launch onto the Refill app how many residents already knew about Refill and contacted Hounslow Highways, particularly during the water problems faced in Twickenham. It was a great opportunity to meet so many residents and to be able to discuss the problem of single use plastic bottles. Hearing about how much they cared about limiting the number of plastic bottles used also really brightened up the room, and we are hoping that other organisations around Hounslow and the UK will follow in Hounslow Highways footsteps by signing up to become the next Refill station creating an even larger network for everyone to access”.
With such a simple, cost effective scheme that also creates an opportunity to meet with the public and to hear their views in such an informal way, there really is no excuse for not signing up immediately, so go ahead and be a part of the solution don’t add to the pollution!