The Refill Jersey scheme is backed by Jersey Water and environmental group Plastic Free Jersey, with the aim of encouraging people to ask for tap water top-ups rather than purchase single-use disposable plastic bottles.
It had to be put on hold last year after Covid guidance prevented cafés and restaurants from accepting reusable products, but is able to return now the restrictions have been removed.
There is also a Refill app that can be used to find the closest station for free drinking water, zero-waste shopping and hot drinks. Businesses with a publicly accessible tap – or which accept reusable bottles – can create a free profile on the platform, which is supported by multiple companies within the UK water industry.
Helier Smith, the chief executive of Jersey Water, said: ‘We believe that the Refill Jersey campaign can help to change behaviour in a positive way. By encouraging people to ask for free refills of tap water in reusable water bottles we hope to reduce the dependency on buying water in a disposable plastic bottle.’
During 2019, Jersey Water provided more than 70,000 litres of water through containers to local charity fundraising events free of charge – including the Jersey Boat Show and the Island Walk.
Plastic Free Jersey founding member Sheena Brockie said: ‘We need to think of the environmental legacy that we are creating for future generations: our children can see the warning signs around them and want to change the way things are done now to ensure that their future is not compromised.’
She added: ‘The issue of single-use plastic is especially poignant as, despite its negative effect on the environment, production of plastic packaging is predicted to double by 2050. There appears to be a disconnect between plastics use and its part in the climate emergency.
‘We need positive action to prevent this becoming our legacy.’