THIRSTY Halesowen shoppers can fill their water bottles for free in a whole host of shops across the town.

Fifteen businesses around the town centre have signed up to the Refill scheme, which aims to prevent plastic pollution by making reusing a bottle simpler than buying a new one.

All shops taking part will have a water station which shoppers can use to fill a reuseable water bottle and will display a blue water drop sign in their window.

Halesowen BID manager Vicky Rogers has been out and about encouraging traders to join.

She said: "With 15 sign ups, Halesowen is well and truly on the Refill map.

"The first to join up was Coffee Calling, who set the trend for the other coffee shops, cafe, take aways and public houses across the town."

Vicky said Halesowen is the first town in the Dudley borough to take part in the national Refill scheme on such a large scale.

The shops taking part in Halesowen are: Coffee Calling, Swankys, The Grill, Hagley Street Barista, Papa's Pizza, Figaro's Pizza, No.1 Pizza, Wetherspoons, Town Cafe, Little Aden Dessert shop, The Old Queens Head, Benjamin's, Carly's Cafe and Mini Bites - both in the Plaza Mall and Jo's Baguette bar.

Greggs stores across the country take part in the Refill scheme.

Less than 30 per cent of people in the UK drink tap water in a reusable bottle, despite having some of the best quality, free drinking water in the world.

The average person in the UK uses around 150 plastic water bottles a year with one million being bought around the world every minute and with plastic bottles making up one third of all plastic pollution in the sea - this is a way for Halesowen shoppers to do their bid to stem the tide of plastic pollution.

To find out more download the Refill app.