An exciting environmental campaign to help fight plastic pollution has come to Darlington.

Refill, promoted in the North East by Northumbrian Water, involves businesses and community venues signing up to allow people to top up their refillable water bottles from their taps, free of charge.

Supported by Darlington Borough Council, the water company visited the launch allowed people the chance to drop in to Northumbrian Water’s community vehicle, ‘Flo’, to find out more about the campaign, while volunteers visited town centre businesses, encouraging them to sign up to be Refill Stations.

Already, more than 30 businesses across the town have signed up to become Refill Stations, places where people can fill up their refillable bottles with tap water, free of charge.

The aim of Refill, which was set up by Bristol-based not for profit organisation City To Sea, is to reduce the reliance upon single-use plastic bottles. Since Northumbrian Water brought Refill to the North East in November 2017, more than 740 Refill Stations – from cafes to university buildings – have been set up.

Businesses simply need to allow people to bring in their bottles to be topped up from the tap. Window stickers are supplied to help them to promote their part in the scheme, and they can also register on the Refill app, which people use to find their nearest station.

Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive of Northumbrian Water, said: “The people of Darlington know the harm that plastics can do to the environment, and, even before Refill officially arrived in the borough, we have seen businesses get behind the campaign. I am confident that Darlington will embrace Refill and make it as big a success here as it’s been in other areas across the North East.

“Setting up a Refill Station couldn’t be simpler. All a business needs is a tap and the will to help the environment!

“Likewise, it’s really easy for members of the public. All they need do is take a refillable bottle with them when they go out and use the Refill app to find their nearest station. They can show further support by encouraging local businesses and organisations to sign up.”

Councillor Nick Wallis said: “I am delighted that the refill campaign is coming to Darlington, and I strongly encourage local businesses to participate.”

To find out more about Refill, or to download the app, people can visit www.refill.org.uk.