Health & hygiene advice for reusable's and refilling during and after Level 2
As an organisation, RefillNZ will continue to champion positive solutions and practical action. We also encourage you our supporters to back local businesses. So here’s some tips and advice on keeping refilling clean and hygienic for hospo' owners and 'refillers'.
WasteMINZ has had confirmation that reusables, containers and bulk bins are permitted under Level 2, provided the food safety risks are managed.
This applies to all reusable containers, including personal keep cups, in-house reusable coffee cup schemes used by coffee shops, and ‘bring your own container’ schemes. And reusable water bottles comes under all this. More detail.
Refilling your water bottle
- IMPT - All reusables should be cleaned regularly and thoroughly between uses, washing with warm water and soap /detergent.
- Fill up your bottle before leaving the house/going to work and reduce the need to fill up on the go.
- Cafes, other businesses and council facilities – we never expect cafes to refill your bottle, our policy has always been that RefillNZ 'stations', need to have water out so you can refill yourself.
- Public drinking fountains –you may want to use your elbow or piece of clothing to touch the button to get water to flow. If the fountain looks dirty or unhygienic don’t use it!
- Refilling your bottle - ensure that there is no contact between the bottle and the tap, jug, fountain or nozzle. Same as if you are refilling a glass in a café.
Advice for Refill Stations
Where possible, we’d like to support your businesses in continuing to allow the safe use of reusables in your stores, so staff and customers can protect their health as well as the planet. We know this might mean introducing additional safety and hygiene steps – so here's some tips for communicating these to your customers.
1. Water Bottles
We do not expect businesses to refill people’s bottles. It has always been our policy that RefillNZ sites must have water out so staff don’t have to refill peoples bottles as we recognise staff are busy.
To prevent contamination for people filling their glass or a bottle you may like to have a small sign along these lines:
‘Always handle your bottle or your glass at the bottom to minimize cross over or contamination.
When refilling, ensure that there is no contact between the bottle/glass and the tap, jug or nozzle’.
Please ensure your refill station is clean and washed regularly.
Organisations with water dispensers should review cleaning processes and ensure they are fit for purpose.
Install signs advising users not to touch the tap with their mouth or the mouth of their water bottle and provide adequate sanitation facilities for people using the dispensers. E.g hand gel sanitiser.
Tips for cafe owners - Reusable cups and containers
Single use cups are no safer than a reusable one in fact they could be worse, as if its done right no one except the customer touches a reusable.
But its important for staff to wash their hands before and after handling any reusable items.
Morgan West is the owner of Wellington cafe Milk Crate - one place that's worked out "the contactless pour".
We're getting customers to come up and put the [reusable] cup down on the bench and hold the lid. We extract the coffee into another little cup first with a spout. Then we pour the shot in the cup, then the milk on top of that without touching it."
This video shows how to contactlessly serve coffee in a reusable cup. And Takeaway Throwaways has created a guide for hospitality outlets wanting to facilitate reusables for contactless takeaway food and drink.
Refill is, at its core, a grassroots movement powered by communities and we’ll continue to work with our Refill schemes and stations to offer as much support as we can.