We were hugely proud of our Geovation alumni Refill last week. Refill encourages businesses to allow thirsty passers-by to fill up their water bottles for free and their scheme is being rolled-out across England. And the good news created a splash of national headlines!
We’ve all heard about the issue of single-use plastic bottles and Refill, backed by industry body Water UK expect to cut usage by tens of millions bottles a year. All 15 water companies in England support the expansion of the scheme, which originated in Bristol.
You can use Refill’s app to find water stations and public fountains, or through window signs pointing people in the direction of the nearest one. Whitbread (owner of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn), has already signed up and will allow you to refill your bottles with drinking water in all branches from March 2018.
Refill began collaborating with our Geovation team after winning the Geovation Camp Water Challenge in March 2016. Since then both sides have worked together to develop and launch the app.
Refill programme manager Gus Hoyt said: “We wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for the mentoring and tech support from the Geovation team in Clerkenwell. They have been such amazing partners in developing the Refill app and advising us on business models. It was a little tricky at times being based over in Bristol, but with the new agile online management tools they introduced us to, we soon overcame these difficulties.
“It’s really awesome to think that by the end of the year the Refill App is going to be used the length and breadth of the country, and we’ll be capturing some really useful data on customer behaviour and interactions.”
Our Head of Geovation Alex Wrottesley said: “The images in the media recently of floating plastic waste in the oceans show how timely an initiative like this is.
“It’s fantastic to see the momentum behind this project building. The idea is so simple yet has the potential to transform how people behave. We’re delighted to have been able to help along the way.”
The Refill campaign has already grown to more than 1,600 refill stations across the UK.
You can download the Refill app here http://www.refill.org.uk/get-the-refill-app/