Across the globe, 326 million people have signed a pledge to take action in their own lives to reduce the use plastic drinks bottles, bags and straws.
During the recent heatwave, shops and supermarket shelves were emptied of bottled water and other soft drinks as convenience came before the environment as temperatures soared.
The Met Office has said that the effects of climate change are already being experienced in the UK as 2020 was the warmest, wettest and sunniest year since records began.
Despite more of us recycling our waste, plastic bottles continue to end up in landfill or in our rivers and seas. The production of new plastic bottles and the transportation of bottled water is also responsible for creating carbon dioxide in our atmosphere which is driving man made climate change.
In 2018, Wales joined a global movement to become a ‘refill nation’. Since then, almost 2,000 Welsh businesses have become ‘refill stations’ offering free tap water refills. More than 60 community refill schemes have been established across Wales including in places like Tenby, like St. David’s and Fishguard.
Eluned Morgan MS said: “The Welsh Labour government has already committed to introducing a ban on a number of single use plastic products such as straws and cutlery, but we can all play our part to cut back on the amount of plastic we buy and have to dispose of.
“Across Mid and West Wales, our small shops and local businesses have signed up to offer free tap water refills to visitors and local residents as we join a global effort to tackle climate change.
“The theme of Plastic Free July in 2021 is for each of us to make a pledge to cut back on single use plastic such as drinks bottles.
“From the recent blisteringly hot temperatures at home to the impacts of flash flooding and wild fires abroad, we are already seeing the effects of a changing climate all around the world.
“The time for action is now and that starts with all of us making one simple change – to cut back on single use plastic and to pledge to refill for a more sustainable Wales.”
To find out more about the Refill Nation scheme visit https://www.refill.org.uk/refill-wales/ or download the app for a list of local refill stations near you.