In light of last week’s extreme hot weather, I wanted to pay tribute to the Stroud District Action on Plastic campaign group.

In 2018 they spearheaded the Refill Stroud campaign that saw dozens of local businesses such as Star Anise café, Mills Café and even Hamptons Estate Agents(!) sign up to give away free tap water. There are now over 100 places to refill your water bottle across the Stroud District.

This gives us all access to free drinking water when we are out and about and takes away the need to buy expensive and polluting single-use plastic bottled water.

Last week’s horrifying temperatures – a direct result of man-made climate change, driven in part by the carbon-heavy plastics industry – bought home how important it is to have access to free drinking water.

The plastics industry is soon to be responsible for more Greenhouse Gas Emissions than the aviation and shipping industries combined. In a year alone it emitted more GHGs than 189 coal-fired power stations.

Carrying reusable water bottles isn’t just about tackling plastic pollution in our rivers and oceans, but it is about fighting for a habitable planet.

The climate crisis and the plastic crisis are two sides of the same coin.

While I accept refilling your water bottle won’t stop the climate crisis by itself, it is an important and, crucially easy, step we all need to take.

So, if you haven’t already download the Refill app today that shows hundreds of thousands of water refill points over 135 countries, carry a reusable water bottle and be part of the solution.

It is an easy and important eco-solution that we can all do today.

Green Party Cllr for The Stanleys and Policy Manager for City to Sea, the organisation behind the Refill Campaign, Steve Hynd.