So, I've had an idea...

...we've all got used to carrying bags for life around with us, right? The sight of a plastic straw is now treated as a sort of obscenity. Refillable water bottles have become a must-have fashion item (see Chilly's and Swell Bottles) and I bought three of my relatives Keep Cups for their "on the go" coffees as gifts this Christmas.

This rise in reusables is all very commendable — but I think it also represents an opportunity for the pub industry.

Imagine, for example, when I'm out and about with my refillable bottle and it needs to be refilled, that instead of going into a corner shop or Tesco Metro or whatever, I could pop into a pub and ask you to refill it with a soft drink?

 

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People are cutting down on single use plastic soft drinks bottles as part of a drive to cut down on plastics

 

You already sell a range of soft drinks via eco-friendly (and profitable) post mix, so it would avoid the futility of having to buy a drink in a plastic bottle to then decant it into my refillable one, thus negating any environmental benefits of me carrying a reusable bottle in the first place.

And make no mistake, as someone who:

 

  1. carries around a reusable bottle
  2. drinks a lot of fluid

 

The above scenario actually happens to me a lot.

It's not like selling soft drinks for punters to take away would cannibalise sales either, for such a customer was not intending to come in for a leisurely sit-down drink on this particular occasion. They were in fact heading to a shop, so it would be a boost to the coffers — perhaps a significant one at that.

Soft drinks are worth £2.1bn to convenience stores

Soft drinks are worth £2.1bn to the convenience and impulse sector, according to the 2018 Britvic Soft Drinks Report.

Maybe you already offer this in your pub (if so, do write/call/Tweet and let us know) but I've never seen it in action and it strikes me as a good idea.

But then I'm the person who refused to print a newstory about Facebook launching in the UK because it "won't take off", so what do I know about good ideas?