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Equivalent of three million plastic bottles saved by Network Rail initiative

Passengers that have passed through Network Rail’s biggest and busiest stations have contributed towards the saving of the equivalent of three million plastic bottles with the introduction of free drinking water fountains.

The water foundation movement began back in 2018 and during last year’s National Refill Day, led by City to Sea, Network Rail celebrated their saving on plastic and set a new goal by reaching two million by the end of the year.

Amazingly, passengers have already surpassed that target by one million by making the switch to reusable bottles.

The final station to install a water fountain was Leeds last month as part of wider refurbishment works. Free water fountains can now be found at all 20 of Network Rail’s managed stations, such as Waterloo, Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly.

Passengers have also been encouraged to download and make use of City to Sea’s Refill App. The app connects people to almost 30,000 Refill Stations nationwide, helping them reduce their use of single-use plastic.

Managing Director Property at Network Rail, David Biggs, said: “Network Rail has a big role to play in tackling plastic pollution. We know that passengers share our passion for reducing single use plastics, so it’s important that we make it as easy as possible for them to refill throughout their journey. It’s great that we now have free water fountains in all of our managed stations, and even more so, that they’re making a real difference for passengers.”

Campaigns Manager at City to Sea, Steve Hynd, said: “It’s fantastic to have the support of Network Rail, and through our partnership with them we are empowering passengers to avoid single-use plastic. We know that when people are on the go, this is the time they’re most likely to buy a plastic bottle of water.

"Research shows 36% of people who regularly carry a reusable water bottle say they would buy a plastic bottle at a train station. We are here to offer them an easy, cheap and good for the environment alternative. Now that’s something to raise a glass to.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said: “Network Rail and City to Sea’s campaign has been a massive success, ensuring passengers stay hydrated, save money and we all save the planet one water bottle at a time. People across the country start and finish their days on our railways and encouraging water refills both avoids waste and means that, as a nation, we won’t be running on empty.”

Image: Network Rail 


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