ENVIRONMENT MINISTER LAUNCHES REFILL MERMAID QUAY

Lesley Griffiths AM, the Welsh Assembly’s Minister for the Environment, Energy & Rural Affairs together with children from Mount Stuart Primary School in Cardiff Bay visited Mermaid Quay today (17 June 2019) to mark the launch of the new REFILL Mermaid Quay scheme… just in time for National Refill Day (19 June 2019).

Refill is a UK-wide campaign to reduce plastic pollution by making refilling a water bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible, with Refill Stations on every street. The Refill app shows you where you can refill your water bottle for free.

A total of 10 Mermaid Quay venues have already signed up as Refill stations as part of the REFILL Mermaid Quay project, offering free water refills to members of the public:

Mermaid Quay spent the weekend (Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 June) of the project launch collecting single use plastic bottles (for recycling by Mermaid Quay’s Waste & Environmental Services partner Mitie Waste) in a rowing boat on the waterfront and also distributing reusable water bottles (donated by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water) to members of the public.

The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said:
‘I am pleased to launch REFILL Mermaid Quay today. Refill Wales is doing a great job helping make tap water more widely available in public spaces and in the process achieve our goal of becoming a Refill Nation. This scheme adds to the 180-plus places to sign up to Refill in the wider Cardiff area alone.

“Mermaid Quay is a prime example of communities doing all they can to reduce their environmental impact – they have already achieved a lot working hard to reduce waste and electricity consumption and I am sure their refill scheme will go some way to reducing plastic waste in the area.

“I am also impressed with the commitment of Class 12 children at Mount Stuart School to reduce the use of single use plastic water bottles. They took the campaign to parents by asking them to sign a pledge to provide them with a reusable water bottle and also lobbied the headmaster to provide a water fountain in the school grounds so that they can refill.”

As part of the launch of the REFILL Mermaid Quay campaign, Mermaid Quay gave all the Class 12 children a Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water reusable drinking bottle and is also to contribute to the cost of the school’s new water fountain.

Mermaid Quay Centre Manager Justin Patel said:
“Here at Mermaid Quay we’re rightly proud of the Cardiff Bay environment and want to do everything we can to reduce the amount of litter. Plastics, including single-use plastic bottles, are now the most frequently found type of litter on UK beaches and you don’t have to look far to find them littering towns, rivers and The Bay too. REFILL Mermaid Quay gives us all the opportunity to help make this type of litter a thing of the past at the same time as saving money. We believe it’s good business sense as well, as customers view businesses that provide free water refills more favourably and are more likely to return to them to make future purchases.”

Mermaid Quay is committed to working to reduce its environmental impact.

Since 2015 it has:

  • achieved 40% reduction in general waste
  • increased waste going to recycling from 18% of total waste in 2015 to to 55% in 2018
  • reduced food waste – using a biodigester to turn it into compost – from 120 tonnes of waste to 48 tonnes of compost
  • reduced annual electricity consumption by 120,144KW (approx. 30 average UK homes annual consumption)

The Mermaid Quay management team is also working closely with the businesses in the centre to introduce other environmentally friendly initiatives such as REFILL Mermaid Quay and, later this year, Plastic Free Mermaid Quay.

NOTES

About Refill

Refill is one of several campaigns from City to Sea, the not-for-profit organisation running campaigns to prevent marine plastic pollution.

Refill launched in Bristol in 2015, and there are now over 13,000 Refill Stations around the UK registered on the free Refill app which shows you where you can refill your water bottle for free.
Web: www.refill.org.uk
www.citytosea.org.uk
Twitter: @refillwales

Welsh Government is supporting the national roll-out of the Refill Scheme, alongside local water companies, with the aim of having tens of thousands of Refill Stations in every major city and town in Wales by 2021.

About Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is responsible for providing over three million people with a continuous, high quality supply of drinking water and for taking away, treating and properly disposing of the wastewater that is produced. It serves most of Wales, parts of Deeside and Herefordshire. It is one of 10 water and wastewater companies in England and Wales and is the sixth largest. Unlike other water companies, it does not have any shareholders.

About Mermaid Quay

Mermaid Quay is a 14,000 sq m (150,000 sq ft) mixed centre with more than 30 restaurants, cafes and bars as well as shops & luxury services set in a stunning waterfront location at the southern end of Bute Street, overlooking the water in the heart of Cardiff Bay. It first opened 20 years ago in 1999.

The centre is currently undergoing a comprehensive multi-million pound strategic repositioning which includes new public realm (new paving, lighting, landscaping, signage and wayfinding, entrance markers, seating and street furniture) and redevelopment of units to bring in new occupiers including Cosy Club (just opened), Hubbox (to open in Autumn 2019) and a five-screen Everyman Cinema (to open in Winter 2019).