Commercial property company Landsec has launched a Refill Me campaign which will see 92 brands work together to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste at its retailer destinations.
According to Landsec, it is estimated that UK adults use 7.7 billion single-use waste bottles annually, and through its new campaign, it will aim to help cut this number by decreasing the quantity of plastic bottles used at Landsec’s retail destinations.
This will be achieved by encouraging retailers to take part in an initiative which will see them offer free refills to customers using their own bottles.
So far, 149 individual stores have signed up from 92 brands including branches of Caffé Nero, Costa, Lush, McDonald’s and Pret A Manger.
It aims to roll out the scheme across its entire portfolio of shopping centres, outlet malls and leisure parks by 2020.
Research carried out by the company found that 59% of shoppers would feel uncomfortable asking a retailer to refill their water bottle without first buying something.
From this, the campaign makes no obligation for the consumer to purchase any products who have supported this initiative, with participating stores displaying stickers to indicate to shoppers that they are a free refill point.
The research also found that while 59% of shoppers do not currently carry a refillable bottle, half of all respondents would begin to more often if they knew where they could refill it.
Landsec sustainability manager Tom Byrne said: “Over the first week of the campaign, we’ve seen unprecedented levels of support from customers and retailers alike. Single-use plastic is one of the biggest challenges facing our planet; like other refill campaigns, we’re determined to play our part in ensuring that we drive change in the behaviours of shoppers and retailers.”
Costa head of environment Oliver Rosevear said: “At Costa we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and playing our part to tackle the issue of plastic waste. We are delighted to be joining Landsec’s Refill Me campaign and further promote the use of reusable cups and water bottles within our stores – allowing customers to refill their water bottles for free, with no purchase required.”