Plastic pollution battle comes to Wearside


An exciting environmental campaign to help fight plastic pollution has been launched in Sunderland.

As part of Climate Action North East′s World Environment Day event at the city′s Marriott Hotel (Tuesday, March 5), Northumbrian Water officially kicked off the Refill campaign′s move into Wearside.

Already, more than 70 businesses across the city 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, more than 400 Refill Stations - from cafes to estate agents - have been set up. While the campaign has only officially launched in the Durham and Newcastle areas, businesses across the whole region have been signing 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: "As residents of a coastal city, the people of Sunderland know the harm that plastics can do to the environment, so I am confident that they will embrace Refill and make it as big a success here as it′s been in other areas where it has launched.

"It couldn′t be simpler to set up a Refill Station. All a business needs is a tap and the will to help the environment!

"It′s also really easy for members of the public, who just need to take a refillable bottle with them when they go out and use the Refill app to find their nearest station. We would also encourage anybody to support the campaign by encouraging local businesses and organisations to sign up.

"We′re really looking forward to helping Sunderland become a Refill city and make a real impact in the fight against plastic pollution."

To find out more about Refill, or to download the app, people can visit

For further media information, call 0191 3015678.

Northumbrian Water Limited supplies 2.7 million customers in the North East with both water and sewerage services, trading as Northumbrian Water, and 1.8 million customers in the South East with water services, trading as Essex & Suffolk Water.

In 2017 Northumbrian Water was named Utility of the Year at the Utility Week Awards, for the second time in four years. The company has followed this up in 2018 by winning the UK Excellence Award at the British Quality Foundation (BQF) UK Excellence Awards, and Water Company of the Year at the Water Industry Achievement Awards. Northumbrian Water also received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for sustainable development for a second time in 2014, which is accredited for five years. This recognises the company as a business which benefits the environment, society and the economy.

Abbey Road, Pity Me, Durham DH1 5FJ. Telephone 0345 6047468. Website:

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