A FRESH approach to reducing pollution is flowing in to Andover thanks to the arrival of a new scheme.

Refill Andover, a campaign encouraging people to reuse their water bottles and cut down on single-use plastics, is now up and running in the town.

It allows people to find nearby venues that offer free drinking water where they can refill reusable water bottles, rather than buying new ones, whilst also offering benefits for participating businesses.

Katherine Bird, one of the project’s committee members, said: “It’s such a simple thing to do that can make such a big change.

“It’s about enhancing our town, supporting the reduction of single-use plastics, increasing awareness and doing something positive for Andover.”

The UK uses 7.7 billion plastic water bottles every year, with a reported 700,000 littered every day. The Refill campaign aims to tackle those numbers.

It is part of a national project created by City to Sea — an award-winning organisation that runs campaigns to stop marine plastic pollution at source.

The scheme’s main feature is the Refill app, which people can use to find their nearest Refill Station. This could come in the form of a café, restaurant, pub, or any other business that offers free drinking water which people can then access when out and about.

The app can also be of use to those venues, which can sign up to let other users know they offer free drinking water.

Katherine added: “Loads of businesses are already happy for you to fill up a bottle and one of the benefits of this scheme is it promotes businesses, getting them publicity without them having to change anything they are doing.”

Venues such as the White Hart Hotel and The Oak, in Smannell, have already signed up to the scheme, while national companies such as Costa and Wetherspoons are also involved.

But Katherine is hoping “to get as many companies on board and promote as many businesses who are already doing it” as possible across the region.

Another element of the Refill’s offering is a special bottle that people can purchase and use instead of plastic ones.

For every bottle sold, a donation of up to £10 is given back to the Refill campaign.

For more information about the scheme or to download the app go to refill.org.uk or search ‘Refill Andover’ on Facebook.