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Bluestone Announces New Partnership with Refill Wales

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Bluestone National Park Resort has announced that plastic bottled water will no longer be sold anywhere at the resort.

The move forms part of a new partnership with environmental organisation City to Sea, who are behind the award-winning national Refill campaign and app which helps people to eat, drink and shop with less plastic.

The decision to remove all plastic bottled water from sale is part of a long-term sustainability drive for Bluestone. Two years ago, all staff were given reusable drinks flasks, which reduced plastic water bottle and disposable coffee cup use in staff areas by over 12,000 items per year.

Now the popular family resort is going one step further by removing water in plastic bottles from sale across the site, a move which will come into full effect a month later (16th July) to kick off the start of their Summer Festival Season.

It’s estimated that this will prevent a further 25,000 plastic bottles from being used each year; instead, visitors will be encouraged to prepare for their visit by packing a reusable water bottle and filling up for free. Guests are also offered a 10% discount on hot drinks if they bring a reusable cup to any of the resort’s outlets instead of asking for a takeaway cup.

Visitors to the resort will also be encouraged to download the Refill app, which allows them to search for hundreds of tap water Refill stations around Wales, where they will be able fill up on the go, for free. Refill Wales is part funded by the Welsh Government to increase the availability of high-quality drinking water throughout the country.

Plastic Pollution Risking Mental Health Benefit of Time Spent Outdoors

Bluestone’s announcement comes as the results of a new poll commissioned by City to Sea, in partnership with Friends of the Earth, found that 61% of adults in Wales said that the Covid-19 pandemic made them realise that spending time outdoors / in nature is important to their sense of mental wellbeing.

But the research also found that these crucial mental health benefits are being put at risk as a result of the prevalence of plastic pollution.

More than half of the Welsh responders (55%) reported feeling angry or frustrated (45%) about seeing plastic / litter when spending time outdoors / in nature.

But encouragingly, the research also showed that a whopping 88% of Welsh consumers are concerned about plastic pollution, and almost three quarters (74%) agree they would like to see more refill / reuse options available as a way to reduce this.

Marten Lewis, Head of Sustainability at Bluestone

Speaking about Bluestone’s move to cut single use plastic at the resort, Marten Lewis, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Bluestone said,

“A long-term ambition of ours is to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic across the resort – and as City to Sea’s research demonstrates, our customers care about this too. We have made significant progress, already reducing our single use material by 200,000 items in 2019.

We know there is still more to be done, but this latest announcement marks a great step forward, and we want to thank our teams and of course, our guests, for all their efforts to reduce reliance on single use plastic as we continue to work towards a more sustainable future.”

The UK has some of the best drinking water in the world, and at Bluestone around 60% of the tap water comes from a natural bore hole – providing high quality, natural drinking water which is free for staff and guests.

There are already three dedicated Refill stations on the resort, and another three will be added before the Summer Festival season.

Hannah Osman, Refill Wales manager from City to Sea added,

“This new partnership between Bluestone National Park Resort and Refill Wales is a significant step forward for the campaign. I hope this shows other tourist attractions and businesses in Wales who are thinking about making a similar commitment that not only is it welcomed by environmental campaigners, but by customers and visitors, too.”

Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said,

“I’m so proud of how far we’ve come in looking to eradicate single-use plastics, and reusing your water bottle is a small step towards this. Over the past year, we’ve seen a bigger reliance on single-use plastic, but by reminding people to reuse and refill, I hope we will see it becoming a social norm.

“With more businesses joining Refill, it allows Wales to become a step closer in becoming the World’s first Refill Nation. I’d encourage businesses of all sizes to sign-up to Refill to allow Welsh customers a better chance of helping the environment.”

Reduce, Reuse, Refill, Repeat This World Refill Day

World Refill Day is a global public awareness campaign to prevent plastic pollution and help people live with less waste.  City to Sea, along with thousands of individuals, community groups, sustainable businesses and NGOs will be calling on big businesses and governments, telling them that we need to see action to tackle plastic pollution and reuse is the solution.

The UK public can support World Refill Day by making small changes to their everyday shopping, reducing single-use plastic and finding out what they can refill or reuse near them. Using the hashtag #WorldRefillDay, we’ll be encouraging people to inspire change by telling the world why they choose to reuse and sharing photos of them with their reusable bottles, cups and containers on social media.

To make life easier for people that are looking to take steps to reduce plastic, City to Sea’s free Refill app, now lists more than 200,000 locations around the world where people can eat, drink and shop.

The Refill app has already been downloaded more than 350,000 times and saved millions of items of single-use plastic items from ending up in our waste stream, demonstrating the collective power of individual action on the planet.