Today is World Refill Day; a global public awareness campaign to prevent plastic pollution and help people live with less waste.
Environmental organisation 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 highlighting that reuse is the solution.
For me, it feels like World Refill Day couldn’t come around soon enough.
And that’s because new research 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 that these crucial mental health benefits are being put at risk as a result of plastic pollution and single use litter. More than half of the Welsh responders (55%) reported feeling angry or frustrated (45%) about seeing plastic / litter when spending time outdoors / in nature.
I’m not at all surprised, because, girl – same. It seems I can’t go anywhere these days without discarded bottles, cups and boxes being part of the deal, and to be honest, sometimes it feels overwhelming. It’s awful – though not wholly unexpected – to read that non-essential items like coffee cups and take-away containers are consistently in the top 10 items found on beaches around the world.
How to make a change on #WorldRefillDay
Whilst ‘biodegradeable’ cups and containers once seemed like the easy solution the plastic problem, I have previously written about why that really isn’t the case (see: the confusions around our takeaway trash). Instead, it’s time to highlight the real, workable solutions that we already have at our fingertips;
Reduce, reuse, refill and repeat.
Using the hashtag #WorldRefillDay, we can all inspire change by telling the world why we choose to reuse, and by sharing photos with our reusable bottles, cups and containers on social media.
So, on that note – here are some of my favourite spots to reduce, reuse and refill when popping out for a coffee in Cardiff.
Bloc Coffee (Canton)
Bloc have been accepting reusables for coffee for a long time (they were involved in City to Sea’s #contactlesscoffee campaign this time last year) – and they also offer free water bottle refills, too.
Waterloo Tea (Roath, Lakeside, City Centre, Penarth, Heath)
A new initiative launched to mark World Refill Day, all Waterloo Tea sites now offer a 20% discount when you BYO cup for a takeaway beverage. Lush.
Pettigrew Bakery & Tearooms (Canton, City Centre, Roath)
There’s a 25p discount for bringing your own cup to the Pettigrew Tearoom in town, or the bakery opposite Victoria Park.
Little Man Coffee (City Centre & Riverside)
If you’re new to reusables, the Little Man branded cup is one of the best value indie options on the market.
Penylan Pantry & The Secret Garden (City Centre)
Penylan Pantry (and their sister site, The Secret Garden in Bute Park) both accept reusable cups and offer an incentive for BYO.
Green & Jenks (Roath)
Green & Jenks is a grocery shop ‘on a mission to bring small suppliers to the high street’; they’ll also give you two loyalty card stamps when you BYO reusable cup.
Stag Coffee (Cathays)
Stag Coffee offers a generous 30p off when you bring your own mug.
Brodies (City Centre, Heath)
Now with two sites (the original cabin in Gorsedd Gardens, and a new, bricks & mortar outfit on North Road) the Brodies gang offer a 20p discount when you BYO cup.
Kin & Ilk (City Centre, Pontcanna)
BYO takeaway cup to any Kin + Ilk branch, and get 10% off your coffee / hot drink order.
Lufkin Coffee (Pontcanna, Canton)
The branded Lufkin cups are reusable #goals to be honest – just look at them. So lush.
Hard Lines (Canton)
This is one of my fave spots for a weekday, 11am caffeine kick (and some inbox avoidance).
Weigh To Go Refill (Various, Mobile)
This refill shop-in-a-van pops up at markets all around Cardiff and the Vale. Owner Owen really encourages you to BYO mug, but if by chance you forget, he can offer you a Vegware cup and will send them back to the manufacturer for proper processing (as they do not break down in the environment as many people believe). Love that.
Not on the list?
I have compiled this list using my own knowledge / experience of using my own keepcup around Cardiff, and I also asked for crowdsourced suggestions via social media. But that being said, it’s by no means an exhaustive list!
If your own business / favourite coffee shop isn’t here, but they accept reusables / offer a discount, let me know the details using this form and I will update this list as soon as I have a spare 5 mins!
City to Sea’s free Refill app, now lists more than 200,000 locations around the world where people can eat, drink and shop without the pointless packaging.