ReFILL: Cafe and resort bar join the war on plastic

Venessa Rusling from Ocean Cafe in St Annes
Venessa Rusling from Ocean Cafe in St Annes
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One cafe owner has not only joined the war against plastic – she’s leading the charge on the front line!

Venessa Rusling’s Ocean Cafe has been open inside the YMCA Pool and Gym in St Annes since December.

Scott Jerome from Revolution, which have signed up to the ReFill campaign and started using biodegradable straws

Scott Jerome from Revolution, which have signed up to the ReFill campaign and started using biodegradable straws

And she is already making her mark as an environmentally-conscious businesswoman – having signed up for LOVEmyBEACH’s ReFILL scheme.

But as well as offering free tap water refills, she has also banned plastic straws, plastic takeaway containers, and has invested in recyclable coffee cups.

Instead she’s using compostable or recyclable goods, including paper straws – which are increasingly being adopted by firms as part of a separate movement.

She said: “It’s all about being as environmentally friendly as I can, really.

“I have always been environmentally conscious at home – it’s part of my values.

“The ReFILL campaign is great as well, it’s really positive. I’m hoping as we get into spring and summer we get more people coming in.”

Bosses at the Revolution Bars Group, which has 73 venues across the country and runs Revolution in Market Street, have also ended its annual 30 million order – insteading using a biodegradable, fully compostable alternative made from PLA, a plant-based plastic.

Other measures being introduced include switching to dehydrated fruit garnishes, replacing all beverage napkins with ceramic coasters, and joining the ReFILL scheme.

Commercial director Myles Doran said: “We have a huge responsibility as one of the leading premium bar groups in the UK to get behind the ‘no straws’ campaign. In 2017, we used over 30 million straws and removing these is us playing our part in significantly reducing the volume of plastic that damages our environment.”

The Gazette is campaigning to get 200 businesses to sign up for the scheme, which involves putting a blue sticker in the window to invite people in for a free refill of their water bottle.

The aim is to recude waste from single use plastic bottles, which often end up in the sea and washed up on beaches.

It comes after research found most people are put off asking through a simple fear of being rejected – and a number of big names have put their name to it so far.

They include the McDonald’s branches in Rigby Road, Bank Hey Street, and on the Promenade at South Shore, the Stanley Park Visitor Centre, and a number of hotels and cafes.

Compass Cafe, Number One St Luke’s and Number One South Beach, Honest Crust, the Newholme hotel, and the Adelaide House hotel have also pledged their support.

To get involved, send an email to with the subject header ‘ReFILL’ or call (01253) 361726.