AF Blakemore has partnered 68 of its Spar stores with a water refill campaign that aims to reduce single-use plastic consumption.

‘Refill’ enables members of the public to search for stores where they can refill their water bottles for free. They can ask members of staff at partnered stores to help them.

Blakemore Retail managing director Matt Teague said: “Our customers tell us that they are concerned about their plastic consumption and we are committed to implementing changes to help them. This is a great initiative that will enable people to save money and cut down on plastic pollution.”

Rebecca Burgess, CEO of Refill organiser City to Sea, added: “We hope Spar can be an inspiration to other convenience stores.”

Co-operative societies including Scotmid, Eastern Counties and Southern Co-op are understood to also be introducing water refill points in their stores.

Trudy Davies, of Woosnam & Davies in Powys, has provided free water refills over the past year and told betterRetailing it provides an opportunity for retailers.

She said: “There’s been no impact to bottled water sales. We still sell 48 bottles of water a week, despite the refill scheme being quite popular.

“They have different audiences. The refills will be popular with tourists who like walking in the outdoors nearby, whereas customers who don’t carry reusable bottles will still want water.

Read more about the refill opportunity for independent convenience stores

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