News & Events

Palmy rolls out water refilling programme

Wednesday December 9 2020

It’ll be easier for Palmy residents and visitors to cut down on disposable water bottles now, with the rollout of a programme that allows you to refill your bottles at popular hospitality destinations for free.

Photo shows smiling woman showing off Refill NZ sticker displayed in the window of her cafe.

Café Esplanade is just one of the local businesses who've already joined the programme. Photo: Charlie Higgison.

Palmerston North City Council and Environment Network Manawatū (through its Palmy's Plastic Pollution Challenge project) have teamed up to roll out the Refill NZ programme in our city.

The programme sees cafés, restaurants and other facilities display a sticker or poster on their window that identifies to the public that you can bring your reusable bottle inside and refill with water without any obligation to purchase anything else.

A map of cafés that have signed up as “refill stations” is available on the Refill NZ website:

Palmy cafés already signing up

Council and Palmy's Plastic Pollution Challenge began approaching businesses last week and already have six cafés signed up: Café Cuba, Moxies, Verdict Café, Joseph Street Kitchen, Café Esplanade and Cyclista. The City Library is also part of the programme.

Council is paying for the first 30 cafés to sign up. The cost per café is $20 and that money helps Refill NZ, a not-for-profit organisation, continue its work in minimising waste.

Cafés wanting to be part of the first 30 Refill NZ outlets in Palmy can register on the Refill NZ website:

Palmy's Plastic Pollution Challenge is also working with the UYO (Use Your Own) Sustainable Café Guide to promote a more reusable and refillable Palmy. Local businesses that will happily accept and refill reusable cups and water bottles can sign up for free and be added to the UYO national, searchable, online guide.

An encouraging start

Mike Monaghan, PNCC Water and Waste Manager, says it’s great to see how enthusiastic our local businesses are to be part of the programme and to promote reusing and refilling.

“We all need to work harder to reduce waste, and minimising the use of plastic water bottles and single-use takeaway cups is an easy thing we can all do. We want to make it normal for people to carry a reusable water bottle or cup and this is far easier when we have so many companies so keen to help us live up to our eco city vision.”

A spokesperson for the Palmy’s Plastic Pollution Challenge project, Heather Knox, says the programme helps to showcase the fantastic things that are already happening here in our city.

“When I joined the [project] team about six months ago I was surprised to see the Refill NZ map and UYO guide looking pretty bleak for Palmy. This went against everything that I already knew about how many local cafés were doing amazing things in the waste space. We’re really keen to use every opportunity to raise the profile of Palmy businesses that are actively promoting reusing and refilling. The more single-use bottles and cups that are avoided, the better for our local environment.”

Use Your Own Cup Day this Friday

Photo shows grinning young man outdoors holding a thermo cup and giving the thumbs up.

This Friday 11 December is national Use Your Own Cup Day.

We’d love to see as many Palmy businesses and residents as possible get behind the day and show your support for reducing this kind of waste.

In addition to the cafés already mentioned, we’re aware that Sublime, Barista, Café Express, Robert Harris, Café Royale, Joseph Street Kitchen, the Deli Coffee Shop and Ebony Coffee Roastery are actively supporting Use Your Own Cup Day.

If your business is keen to get behind more waste friendly initiatives long-term, then we’d love you to get in touch with Council to discuss our commercial recycling, food waste and compostable coffee cup services.