PLASTIC pollution is being tackled in Darlington thanks to a scheme allowing people to top up their refillable water bottles in businesses and community venues free of charge.

Darlington Borough Council has confirmed details of refill stations at its premises to help reduce numbers of throwaway plastic bottles, after pledging its support to the scheme earlier this month.

And so far nearly 40 businesses across the town have signed up to become refill stations as part of the 'Refill' scheme, promoted by Northumbrian Water in the region.

Council premises involved in the scheme include the Dolphin Centre, via its Bistro and 16 Horsemarket cafe, the Hippodrome Theatre, the Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum, the Crown Street and Cockerton libraries and South Park cafe.

Other refills stations include all Costa Coffee shops as well as independent businesses such as Coopers Tea Rooms in Posthouse Wynd, the Courtyard Cafe in Clark's Yard and Deli Stop on Crown Street.

Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for leisure and the local environment, said: "It’s great that so many local businesses have already signed up.

"The more refill stations we have the less need for single-use plastic bottles, which has got to be a good thing for the environment.”

Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive of Northumbrian Water, said: “Before we had officially arrived in Darlington, we’d already seen businesses signing up All members of the public need to do now, is to take a refillable bottle with them when they go out, and use the Refill app to find their nearest station.

"They can show further support by encouraging other local business and organisations to sign up.”

The aim of Refill, which was set up by Bristol-based not for profit organisation City To Sea, is to reduce the reliance on single-use plastic bottles.

Since Northumbrian Water brought Refill to the North-East in November 2017, more than 740 Refill Stations, from cafes to university buildings, have been set up.

Businesses simply need to allow people to bring in their bottles to be topped up from the tap. Window stickers are supplied to help them promote their part in the scheme and they can also register on the Refill app, which people use to find their nearest station.

The average person in the UK will use 150 plastic water bottles every year. If just one in ten people in the UK refilled once a week, there would be 340 million fewer plastic bottles a year in circulation. Visit to find out more.