War on plastic: Blackpool's Stanley Park joins list of places backing ReFILL scheme

Stanley Park Visitors Centre has signed up to the ReFILL water scheme. Pictured are volunteers Nigel Paterson and Pat Wright with Elaine Smith, chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park.
Stanley Park Visitors Centre has signed up to the ReFILL water scheme. Pictured are volunteers Nigel Paterson and Pat Wright with Elaine Smith, chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park.
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A Blackpool hotel and the visitors’ centre at Stanley Park are the latest names to join the war on plastic.

Both the Newholme Hotel and Stanley Park Visitor Centre pledged to back LOVEmyBEACH’s ReFILL scheme by offering free tap water to passers-by who have their own refillable drinks containers.

The Gazette is recruiting 200 restaurants, cafes, hotels, and other businesses to the scheme, with the aim of helping to reduce the amount of disposable plastic washing up on our beaches.

Damien Bailey and Nigel Dixon, from the Newholme, in Hornby Road, signed up after learning about it at the recent StayBlackpool trade show.

Damien said: “I thought it was a really good idea. The sticker is already in the window.”

Elaine Smith, chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park group, said she read about the campaign in this newspaper after hearing it mentioned as a business leadership meeting.

She said: “I thought about it then and thought it was a good idea.”

She said that, though the visitor centre – next to the car park – is not a cafe like the privately run business next door, people may ask for water if they see the sticker posted up.

She added: “It’s a good idea to stop plastic bottles altogether. We get an awful lot of litter in the park and it would be nice if we did not get plastic any more.

“It just goes into the bin and then the landfill. The Friends of Stanley Park are out every day, at day break, picking up litter.

“We are the cleanest place in Blackpool at 7.30am!”

The idea is to welcome in tourists and locals – with research showing 70 per cent are put off asking for tap water through a simple fear of asking – through a sticker posted in the window.

Can you you help?

Businesses are being asked to display blue stickers, which say ‘free tap water ReFILLs available here’, telling people that, instead of buying a new bottle, they can just use a reusable container.

The scheme, launched by LOVEmyBEACH, has been trialled elsewhere and recently launched here too – and we want to make it a success.

Stephanie Wyatt from LOVEmyBEACH said: “The idea is basic really. The biggest drawback about people asking for water is the idea they will be told to get lost or buy something.

“We thought we would break down that barrier.”

To get involved, email editorial@jpress.co.uk with the subject ‘ReFILL’ or call (01253) 361726.

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