Mermaid Quay, the restaurant, café and shopping area in the heart of Cardiff Bay, has won a Green Apple Award in the national campaign to find the greenest individuals, companies, councils, places and communities. 

Competing against more than 800 other nominations in the prestigious environmental award, Mermaid Quay achieved a Bronze Award for Environmental Best Practice with the launch of its Refill Mermaid Quay scheme in June 2019.

As part of a wider commitment to reducing its environmental footprint, Mermaid Quay is on a mission to make refilling a water bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible.  This is being achieved by creating Refill Mermaid Quay – part of the UK-wide Refill campaign to reduce plastic pollution.  Mermaid Quay encouraged its restaurants, cafés, bars, cinema and services to act as Refill Stations.  At the time of the launch, a total of 10 Mermaid Quay venues had signed up to Refill Mermaid Quay – meaning that members of the public were welcome to fill up their water bottles for free. It is anticipated that, post the Covid-19 pandemic, more will follow.   

The Refill Mermaid Quay scheme was launched with 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, who visited Mermaid Quay on (17 June 2019) … just in time for National Refill Day (19 June 2019).

The scheme was launched to the public with a free giveaway of 1,000 reusable “Dŵr” water bottles, courtesy of local water company Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water. There was also music, entertainment and even a special rowing boat in which you could put single use plastic bottles for Mermaid Quay’s then Waste & Environmental Services partner Mitie Waste to recycle.

The environmental objectives of the launch campaign were to 1) reduce the number of plastic bottles being used at Mermaid Quay and Cardiff Bay and 2) to raise the awareness of the issue at hand.

As a result of this Green Apple Award success, Mermaid Quay managing agent JLL has been invited to have the winning paper published in The Green Book, the leading international work of reference on environmental best practice, so that others around the world can follow this example and learn from the achievement. Mermaid Quay could also progress to represent the UK in the Green World Awards 2021 and have 100 trees planted in its name as part of the United Nations Billion Trees initiative.

This is the second Green Apple that has been awarded to Mermaid Quay – the first was in 2016 for the introduction of environmentally friendly waste disposal and recycling schemes and initiatives throughout the centre, particularly the installation of a “digester” which converts the centre’s food waste into a “digestate” which can be used as either a soil improver or a biomass fuel. 


The centre’s waste disposal and recycling schemes and other environmental initiatives being undertaken at the centre can be found here


The Green Apple Awards began in 1994 and have become established as the country’s major recognition for environmental endeavour among companies, councils, communities and countries.  

The awards are organised by The Green Organisation – an international, independent, non-political, non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world. The Green Apple Awards are supported by the Environment Agency, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Chartered Institution for Waste Management, REHIS and other independent bodies.


The following outlets have confirmed that they are continuing to offer free water refills during the Covid-19 pandemic: