Six new bottle refilling stations will be installed in Guildford during May and June as part of the Council’s commitment to eliminating single-use plastic containers. The stations are being installed between 21 May and 12 June, at Bedford Road, Shalford Park, Tunsgate, Woodbridge Road and at two locations in Stoke Park, at Burchatts Farm Barn and the tennis courts. They follow the success of the town’s first refilling station, located outside the public toilets at the junction of Ward Street and North Street opposite Guildford Library, which refilled 444 500ml bottles in its first three months of use. All works will be undertaken in accordance with coronavirus health and safety protocols.

These stations become part of the Refill App network, a smartphone app linked to over 20,000 Refill Stations across the UK providing free fresh drinking water, which allows people to find stations either closest to them or in specific locations. A meter will gauge usage of the stations, which will be subject to strict quality standards.

As part of its declaration of a Climate Emergency in July 2019, the Council recognised the damage that plastics can cause to the environment, and committed to supporting the Plastic Free Guildford initiative to avoid the use of single-use plastics where suitable alternatives are available.

Refilling bottles, rather than throwing them away, reduces the amount of plastic used and, in turn, the carbon emitted in the production process. Every time one of its filling stations is used, Refill receives 13p from its supporters and partners to help fund further environmental projects.

Lead Councillor for the Environment, Cllr James Steel says:

“I am delighted that six new refilling stations are being installed across Guildford. They are a small but vital step in our journey to combating the Climate Emergency, and we look forward to seeing the cumulative effects of this initiative alongside our commitment to a carbon-neutral borough, reducing single-use plastics, and installing drinking fountains.”

He continues:

“Climate Change affects everything and everybody, and we will continue to collaborate with our partner organisations and lead by example with the decisions we make and the support we give to residents, businesses and initiatives that can have a real positive impact.”

The Greener Guildford Initiative is a commitment to protect and promote Guildford as an environmentally conscious and friendly town.

Amanda Masters, Chief Executive of Guildford’s Business Improvement District, Experience Guildford says: “It is encouraging to see the impact that our work on the Greener Guildford initiative is having. We have been long-term champions of the refill scheme in the town centre and are delighted to see investment being made in the installation of further refill stations.”