COFFEE shops at Airedale Hospital are doing their bit to help tackle plastic pollution.

They have set-up special points where people can fill water bottles for free.

The initiative is the idea of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust’s EcoAware group.

It is supporting the national Refill campaign, which aims to encourage people to buy one reusable bottle and refill it with tap water, rather than continually buying bottles.

As part of the venture, participating cafes and shops are asked to display signs informing people that the facility is available.

The Friendly Coffee Shops at the Steeton hospital have pledged their backing.

Helen Roberts, the trust’s patient information officer, said: “We wanted to take the Refill campaign and see what we could do with it in the hospital.

“We already have notices in our staff kitchen areas to remind employees that they can access free water. Lots of staff already do, and bring their own water bottles to work.

“That was the first stage. Now, with the support of the Friends of Airedale, we can offer the facility for visitors and the public.

“It’s a simple idea that can make a really big change, just because of the amount of water that people drink.

“Drinking water is important for your health and hydration and so if you stop constantly buying a new bottle and use a refillable one, you can make a massive difference really quickly.”

The coffee shops also sell refillable cups, and anyone buying one will receive their first drink for free.