Natalie Fee founded Refill when she noticed back in 2015 the many plastic bottles that were washing up on the river banks of her native Bristol. Refill is a a tap water campaign that makes refilling one's own bottle easy and convenient by introducing refill points on every street. Refill has now spread to many countries, including Greece! Niki Helios came across the Refill Deutschland effort on Facebook during the summer of 2017. She contacted them, and the Refill UK team, before launching Refill Greece last November. The idea is simple enough - if you own a bar / restaurant / shop (any entity with opening hours) in an area where tap water is potable, you download the sticker from the Refill website (www.refillgreece.org) or the FREE Refill App available on the iTunes store, print it, and stick it on your store window. This tells passersby that they can enter your store and ask you to refill their water bottle from your tap, for free. The App also allows users to locate nearby Refill Stations. Refill is a great and simple way to do away with plastic water bottles, one of major contributors to the plastic pollution problem afflicting our oceans globally. In Niki's own words:
"Unfortunately since the 1990s, the number of public water fountains all over Greece has decreased and sales of bottled water have increased. This problem is growing, and we are trying through the Refill campaign to raise awareness about plastic pollution generally and plastic water bottles specifically. Many people don't know that plastic water bottles have limited "recyclability" (the toxins in the plastic build up with every recycling, making it unfit to be used to make containers for food/drink, so plastic from the 7% of plastic water bottles that are actually being recycled can only mostly be down cycled). There is a need to educate the general public in Greece about the harms of single-use plastic and we think Refill Greece is a step in the right direction. We are working together with Plastikourgeio in Athens and Plastic Free Drinks on Paros. Currently there are Refill Stations in Athens, Thessaloniki, Paros, Ioannina and Larissa. Our goal is to have a Refill Station on every street. Ofcourse our network of Refill Stations would grow faster if the general public were more aware of the problem that bottled water is spawning."