A SCHEME to reduce plastic bottle waste and encourage people to refill their water bottles has been launched in Burnham-on-Sea.

Refill Burnham-on-Sea is a scheme which aims to encourage participating cafés, bars, restaurants, banks and other businesses to sign up to the free Refill app and put a sticker in their window alerting passers-by to the fact they’re welcome to fill up their bottle for free.

Tatiana Cant, town clerk for Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge Town Council, who are launching Refill Burnham-on-Sea, said she hopes businesses and residents will get involved and will use refill stations on every street in the town.

“Here in Burnham-on-Sea we’re rightly proud of the area’s wonderful coastline," Ms Cant said.

"Plastics, including single-use plastic bottles, are now the most frequently found type of litter on UK beaches and you don’t have to look far to find them littering our towns and green spaces too.”

The scheme was initially launched in Bristol in 2015 by City to Sea, a not-for-profit organisation headed by entrepreneur Natalie Fee and it is estimated that the scheme will cut plastic bottle use by tens of millions each year, as well as substantially increasing the availability of high quality drinking water.

The town council have joined the scheme and are now offering free water refills at both the Princess Theatre and their town council offices in Jaycroft Road.

Litter Free Coast & Sea Somerset are also supporting the scheme and said they have been encouraging the council and local businesses to sign up to the Refill scheme.

Ms Cant added: “This scheme fits in perfectly with the Council’s commitment to its recently adopted Green Charter and application to Surfers Against Sewage to become a Plastic Free Community.

"Refill Burnham-on-Sea gives us all the opportunity to help make this type of litter a thing of the past at the same time as saving money.

"It’s good business sense as well as customers view businesses that provide free water refills more favourably and are more likely to return to them to make future purchases.

"We are delighted that other businesses in the town have already signed up to be Refill Stations: Gardiner-Whites, Costa Coffee, The Reeds Arms and the BARB/RNLI/BiARS station on the Esplanade.”

Refill Burnham-on-Sea builds on the success of Refill around the UK, which now boasts a network of over 10,000 Refill Stations.

Natalie Fee, founder of City to Sea, the organisation which is the driving force behind the Refill Scheme, said: “Refill puts the power to stop plastic pollution in people's hands - it's a fantastically easy way to reduce your plastic consumption and save money at the same time.

"Businesses can add themselves to the app too and help create the wave of change needed to keep plastic bottles out of our oceans."

For more information about Refill Burnham-on-Sea and how you can take part visit burnham-highbridge-tc.gov.uk or refill.org.uk.