Talk to Local Business Owners
Once you have a plan and you've set a goal, it's time to start having conversations with local business owners. For Ann in Tramore, this wasn’t a hard pitch at all. For most businesses, they were happy to be part of a positive local initiative and proud to show the sticker in their window and let their customers know that they care about the environment and were willing to take this simple step to
"When talking to local businesses, I have to say most people had a great attitude and interest in the environment and they are ready for change. The damage plastic is causing to our seas, wildlife and environment is on the news and in the papers most days so people are very aware of what’s happening and they want to do their bit. The response overall was really positive."
In terms of the concerns that businesses might have, obviously cost is always the big one. The cost of water varies slightly across the country, but In Dublin (which would be a little higher than a lot of other places in Ireland), the cost is €1.16 per 1,000 litres of water meaning that the cost to a business of providing refills would be really really low. By having a Refill sticker in their window, it's also very likely that more people will come into their business and buy other things while getting their bottle refilled so it's a win win!
Another concern that businesses might have is that they will be inundated with people queuing up to get their water bottles filled. Depending on the population and the number of businesses, this is pretty unlikely and something that can be tackled if it arises.
Here's Ann's take on it:
"The math for a community is simple here. The more businesses sign up, the more the service of refilling bottles will be shared and hopefully, no one needs to worry about queues of people waiting to fill their water bottles. In any case, this would be a dream scenario in some ways, demonstrating that people are changing their behaviours on a big scale, and would put pressure on local authorities to provide more public refill taps!"
The final thing raised by businesses was their concern about the water quality running through their old pipes - was it safe and of high enough quality to give out to people. In general, the water quality of Irish tap water is one of the best in the world but if a business has any concerns they can which allows you to check the exact quality of the drinking water in your area and confirm that it's safe for consumption.
Remember, it's all about momentum. Once you have a few businesses signed up, many others will jump straight on board.
Once you've had a conversation with the business owner and they're happy to be on board, give them their sticker so that they can proudly display it in their window for everyone to see.