The town has been aware for the need to “reduce, reuse and refill” for a long time, with the Town Council having provided each resident with a cloth reusable bag even before the plastic carrier bag charge came in across Wales. Montgomery Energy Group (MEG) focuses on energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction; the local Spar shop has increased its stock of milk in glass bottles due to demand from customers keen to minimise their use of plastic.
The Dragon Hotel was the first establishment in Montgomery to sign up to the Refill scheme, a national tap water campaign which aims to make refilling your water bottle easy and convenient by signing up refill stations. They have been joined by Montys Brewery, and Dairy Dreams just down the road. There’s a downloadable map app that lets you know the locations where you are welcome to fill your bottle for free. The Ivy House Café and Castle Kitchen are also happy to fill water bottles, and have been doing so for visiting cyclists in particular for many years.
With the Montgomery Trails encouraging increasing numbers of cyclists, walkers and families to visit the town, it’s great to have local businesses helping to keep everyone hydrated, while at the same time reducing plastic pollution at source. If your business would like to become a Refill station, it's very easy to sign up using the Refill app and “put your tap on the map”.
This year, Montgomery Tennis Club are encouraging players to make use of their outside tap and to avoid buying bottled water. Chairman John Billington said, “We would like at the Club to do our bit. Please encourage young members to bring their own bottles and to refill them from the tap. It is THEIR future and they will probably happily lead the way!”
You are welcome to use your own reusable coffee cup when purchasing hot drinks to take away from Spar, Ivy House Café, Castle Kitchen and Dragon Hotel. (The Dragon and Spar will offer 10p off the usual price, and the Ivy House 20p off.) The Castle Kitchen’s takeaway cups and food trays are all biodegradable, and it is happy to provide quiches, cakes etc. using customers’ own plates or boxes.
The Post Office at the Ivy House has set up a collection and distribution point for reusing jiffy bags, and there is also a basket for CDs and DVDs to be dropped off and collected for reuse by someone else; there is no charge for jiffy bags, CDs or DVDs, though a charity donation into one of the collection tins is always welcome. New or ‘gently used’ bras can be donated at the Post Office to be sent to charity “Smalls for All”. For other swapping and sharing of items in Montgomery, you can request to join the MEG Swap / Share group on Facebook by clicking here:
Montgomery Medical Practice hosts a collection point for used spectacles which are sent to the Lions Club and on to other countries where they are needed. Eric Fairbrother says, “It's a wonderful project which costs very little but brings better sight to many people in the Third World, and Montgomery folk are only too willing to donate.”
Montgomery has its very own zero waste business in the form of Katrina Collins’ SHED38 where the goal is to help people to bring as little new plastic as possible into their homes, and to have as little waste as possible leaving it. Katrina says, “Working with Montgomery folk in reducing, reusing and recycling can only be positive for us all and our beautiful town.”
Several further schemes for reusing and recycling items are in the planning around the town, and information will be shared about these when available.
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