morrisons Salford

Morrisons is offering free water refills at all of its petrol forecourts to encourage customers to make the switch from single-use plastic to refillable bottles.

Motorists will now be able to hand their reusable bottles to staff who will fill them up free of charge, before sanitising and handing them back.

The service will be available at all of the supermarket’s 338 filling stations nationwide.

The move comes after a 12-week trial where 18% fewer single-use water bottles were sold, in comparison with the same period the previous year.

Morrisons has already installed more than 300 stand-alone water fountains in the food-to-go sections of its store.

More than 14 billion single-use plastic bottles are used each year in the UK – equal to 39 million a day – with the majority purchased on-the-go or at work.

However, new research has found that 63% of people would like to do more to reduce plastic, but claim the biggest barrier to taking action is a lack of plastic-free alternatives.

Natasha Cook, sustainability manager at Morrisons, said: “When we listen to customers, it’s clear they want us to help them reduce the amount of single-use plastic they throw away.

“We know that customers often pick up a bottle of water when paying for petrol, so offering free water should be an effective way of reducing these single-use plastic bottles.