»The volunteer initiative Refill has a refreshingly simple and groundbreaking fundamental idea. Thereby, they have not designed and created a new product, but are instead devising social and environmentally compatible behaviours. No matter what kind of receptacle you bring with you to the refill station, the bottled water comes from the tap, doing away with the senseless purchase of plastic water bottles.«Prof. Anna Berkenbusch, jury member
Three questions for the founders
Can you remember the moment when you first had the idea for Refill?
In October 2016, I was studying tap water and plastic bottles for my blog on the topic of “plastic-free living” when I read something on Twitter about the Refill Initiative in Bristol. I was immediately convinced that high-quality tap water could serve as a good example for cutting back on plastic bottles, in particular in Germany.
What was your personal highlight in the development process for Refill?
Was there a low point?
The many enthusiastic and dedicated people who have established their own Refill stations or have voluntarily taken on the role of organisers for Refill make me very happy. And if an enthusiastic Refiller reports a pleasant encounter at a Refill station that included a few kind words as well as water, then I’m really very touched. I had the privilege of being an advisor to Refill Greece and Refill Luxembourg – two further locations in which Refill is used.
Where do you see yourself and your project in the next five years?
Plastic waste is one of the biggest problems we are currently facing, and so Refill will continue to grow. As a low-threshold project that touches on many aspects of our lives, it allows people to live more sustainably with just a small step. We are working to ongoingly develop the network of Refill stations. And we want to increase awareness so that the stations are really put to good use. If we are lucky, a rethinking will take place not only when people are on the move, but also at home. Even there, water from plastic bottles should be consigned to history.