Penrith’s new Refill scheme is getting under way!

Penrith is the latest UK town to start a Refill scheme. It’s where shops, cafes and other places agree to give you a free refill of tap water if you come in with a water bottle.

PACT volunteers have started visiting premises in the town centre and a few have already signed up as Refill points. Keep an eye out for the blue signs in the windows! (These are our temporary ones until we get the official Refill scheme window stickers.)

Here are the places that have signed up so far:

  • Beckside Books, St Andrew's Churchyard
  • Hudson Electrical, Great Dockray
  • Janey Macs Cafe at Eden Rural Foyer, Old London Road
  • Penrith Posters, King Street
  • Costa and Premier Inn nationally have also said they'll give free refills.

We hope to have about 20 Refill points by the middle of March, and then we'll do a proper launch. 

Our volunteer Jaki Bell was featured on CFM Radio while out signing up local cafes... watch the video CFM very kindly produced!

What is the refill scheme?

It’s a national scheme, started by City to Sea in Bristol.

The aim is to reduce demand for single-use plastic bottles in our area, which will hopefully cut down on litter, and stop discarded plastic getting into our rivers, lakes and oceans. It also encourages people to think about other plastic packaging they use, and how they can reduce that, too.

How do I get a free Refill?

Just go into any premises that has the Refill point sign, and ask!

What’s the problem with plastic bottles?

We use 13 billion plastic bottles every year in the UK. That's causing a few problems:

  1. A lot of plastic bottles end up as litter, and many make their way into the oceans. They break up into smaller and smaller fragments and marine creatures eat them. Now, one in every four fish has plastic in its flesh, so we’re eating plastic, too. About a third of all the plastic in the ocean is plastic bottles.
  2. Nearly half of the plastic bottles we use don’t get recycled. Five and a half billion of them end up in landfill, as litter, or incinerated. Some plastic bottles, especially coloured ones, aren’t easy to recycle. We don’t have the ability or capacity in the UK to recycle all the plastic we use.
  3. Making all these plastic bottles uses a lot of energy, contributing to climate change. It takes 162g of oil and seven litres of water to make a one-litre disposable PET bottle, which amounts to the release of 100g of carbon dioxide (CO2), a major greenhouse gas*.

(* See

Who’s running the refill scheme in penrith?

That's us, PACT!

We've been able to do it thanks to some funding from Cumbria County Council.

Could your premises be a Refill point?

The Refill factsheet below should give you all the information you need.

If you'd like to join or find out more, email or phone 01768 88266. We’ll take down a few contact details and then a PACT volunteer will drop in and give you a sign for your window. Just for now it will be a temporary one, and we’ll shortly return with the official stickers from the national Refill scheme.