Becoming a Refill Station is great for your business

About Refill

Refill is an award-winning campaign developed by City to Sea to help people live with less plastic. It started by connecting people to free drinking water to tackle the problem of single-use plastic bottles. Since then, the campaign has expanded and Refill is now the world’s first app to help people find locations to reuse and refill. Anyone can download the free Refill app to find a Refill Station near them.

We need your help!

In Greater Manchester we have partnered with the Refill campaign to help everyone in our city-region eat, drink and shop without the pointless plastic. As a local business you can make all the difference in helping to reduce plastic pollution. In this guide you’ll find the information you need to make the most of being a Refill Station.

We hope that by joining Greater Manchester on its journey of becoming zero-carbon by 2038, you’ll not only reach a new audience and drive more customers to your business, but you’ll be showing your customers and your staff that you are committed to taking action against plastic pollution!

Refill works by connecting people with locations where they can eat, drink and shop with less waste.

Join the refill revolution

Food, drink and retail businesses, and any business with a tap, can sign up as a Refill Station (for free) and offer refills. As well as water, refill stations can include everything from fountains where you can fill up your bottle, to cafes and restaurants where you can get a hot drink in a reusable cup, to retailers and supermarkets with packaging-free isles and everything in between.

All you have to do is sign up to the app and put a sticker in your window, alerting passers-by that they’re welcome to come on in and get a refill.

As well as local businesses, the Refill app shows railway stations, supermarkets, airports and high street chains such as Starbucks, McDonald’s and more that have all signed up to be part of the Refill global community.

Why get involved?

There’s lots of good reasons to join the Refill Revolution

  • Be the change. Show your customers you, your business and your staff are committed to taking action against plastic pollution!
  • Increased exposure. Being listed on the Refill app means benefiting from free marketing as app users will discover your business this way!
  • Increased footfall. The Refill app and the Refill sticker in your window will attract passers-by into your establishment. And those who come in for a free water refill are likely to end up spending money once inside!
  • Join a growing movement. By becoming a Refill Station you’ll be joining a network of thousands of businesses and organisations across the world, all working towards the same goal.
  • Great social and promotional content. We provide everything you need to celebrate your involvement through your social channels, including ready-made Refill-branded assets.
  • PR opportunities. Connect with local Refill Schemes and get involved with events and PR Opportunities which will increase exposure and footfall. Win win!

What type of refills can I add?

  • Water – whether from a fountain or a tap, you offer free water refills and accept reusable water bottles from customers! This will show as a water bottle icon on your listing on the app.
  • Hot drinks – you accept reusable coffee cups from customers, and maybe even offer a discount or incentive to reward them for bringing their own! This will show as a coffee cup icon on your listing on the app.
  • Lunches/takeaway food – if you offer takeaway food, encourage people to bring their own containers, lunchboxes or Tupperware to refill – you can offer a discount or a reward system for those that do! This will show as a lunchbox icon on your listing on the app.
  • Groceries – are you a zero waste shop or do you sell loose fruit and veg and dried goods? If you offer any plastic-free options make sure these are listed on the app! This will show as a shopping basket icon on your listing on the app.
  • Toiletries and cleaning products – do you have a Refill area for liquids like toiletries and cleaning products so that people can refill their own bottles and containers? This will show as a shopping basket icon on your listing on the app.

Get listed on the app

To get started, you’ll first need to download the free Refill app. You can then add your business onto the app in a few clicks! Here’s how:

  1. Select the ‘Get Involved’ tab.
  2. Then click on ‘Add a Station’.
  3. Select a photo or take a picture of the Refill Point.
  4. Tap to select the location to auto populate the address.
  5. Tell us a bit about this location.
  6. Select which types of Refill this Station offers.
  7. And save!

City to Sea will then need to approve your business before anyone else can see it on the app.

Simply fill out the Refill Station Bulk Upload Form and send to with a high res logo and 25 word descriptor and City to Sea will work behind the scenes to get all your locations listed in one go. You’ll be in good company!

Download the app

Refill Resources

Stations How To Guide

Take a look at City to Sea’s Station How to Guide. It has everything you need to know about joining the Refill Revolution and making the most of being a Refill Station.

Installing a water fountain

Take a look at our practical advice for businesses and organisations who are looking to install a water fountain for the benefit of the local community.

Print materials and downloads

Once you sign up as a Refill station you can download resources yourself, or order your print materials – including a window sticker. Happy Refilling!

Take-away packaging guidance

PlasticFreeGM has worked through some of the ‘worst offenders’ in terms of avoidable single-use plastics and offers advice and guidance on how to make more sustainable, low carbon choices.

Reducing plastic at work

We are on hand to offer support and advice to businesses in reducing plastic waste. There are lots of ways to cut down on the amount of single-use plastic at work, take a look at some simple ways you can help.

Refill App

Download the Refill App to check out your station and find other Refill Stations near you. The power to live with less plastic is at your fingertips!


More great advice

Offering water refills

It’s easy to become a Refill Station by offering free drinking water. This  could be a water dispenser where people can help themselves, or a member of staff refilling the bottle from a tap. Why not sign up today!

Hygiene advice

City to Sea offers lots of advice on how to refill safely for both you and your customers. So whether it’s water, coffee or something else you’ll know that you are providing a safe and clean refill service.

Contactless Coffee Guide

The misinformation around the supposed hygiene benefits of single-use plastics in response to Coronavirus has been alarming. Take a look at the latest best practice when it comes to reusables.



Request a window sticker


As well as your station showing on the app, you can request a window sticker. Refill window stickers are displayed with pride by local business owners to show their commitment to helping reduce pointless packaging in Greater Manchester.

The stickers also act as a ‘welcome!’ to people who may be unsure or afraid to ask about Refills and lets everyone know you are part of the Refill Revolution.

Request a window sticker and print materials
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