// Morrisons offers free water refills at all of its petrol forecourts, as well as in store
// The aim is to encourage customers and motorists to make the switch from single-use plastic to refillable bottles
// 63% of people would like to do more to reduce plastic but the biggest barrier is a lack of plastic free alternatives
Morrisons is offering free water refills at all of its petrol forecourts, as well as in store, to encourage customers and motorists to make the switch from single-use plastic to refillable bottles.
Over 14 billion single-use plastic bottles are used each year in the UK – equal to 39 million a day – with the majority purchased on-the-go or at work.
However, new research has found that 63 per cent of people would like to do more to reduce plastic, but claim the biggest barrier to taking action is a lack of plastic-free alternatives.
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At Morrisons petrol forecourt kiosks, customers will now be able to hand their reusable bottles to attendants who will fill them up for free, before sanitising them and returning them to the customer.
The service will be available at all of Morrisons 338 filling stations nationwide.
The move comes after a 12-week trial in August last year, where Morrisons said 18 per cent fewer single-use water bottles were sold in comparison to the same period the previous year.
Morrisons said it would now extend the refill service following the trial’s success.
The Big 4 grocer has already installed over 300 stand-alone water fountains in the Food-to-Go sections of its stores for customers to fill their bottles on-the-go.
It was also one of the first to offer water refills in all of its cafe stores nationwide in 2018.
“When we listen to customers, it’s clear they want us to help them reduce the amount of single-use plastic they throw away,” Morrisons sustainability manager Natasha Cook said.
“We know that customers often pick up a bottle of water when paying for petrol, so offering free water should be an effective way of reducing these single-use plastic bottles.”
Free petrol station and in store refills is the latest plastic reduction initiative from Morrisons.
The retail giant said it has reduced plastic across its 497 stores by over 8000 tonnes of own brand plastic packaging since 2017.
Other moves include being the first supermarket to ditch plastic carrier bags in favour of paper carrier bags, using traditional paper bags for loose fruit and vegetables, plus introducing a refillable container service on fish, meat and deli counters to reduce single-use packaging.