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Network Rail announces plans to deal with significant environmental issues

Published 07 June 2018

Network Rail has announced plans to tackle three significant environmental issues in the country’s biggest and busiest rail stations.

Ban retailers from supplying plastic cutlery and cups in managed stations by the end of 2020

Implement a coffee cup recycling scheme for managed stations by the end of 2020

Expand the roll out of coffee ground recycling to all managed stations by the end of 2020

The announcements have been made to mark the UN’s World Environment Day and are part of Network Rail’s ongoing environmental efforts and its ambition to be a market leader in sustainability.

As a company a total of 94% of Network Rail’s waste is already diverted from landfill. The organisation now wants to use its position as one the UK’s largest retail landlords to encourage the adoption of more green initiatives within its managed stations, delivering benefits to its 900m station users.

These goals also complement the organisation’s recent initiative to begin installing free water fountains in its managed stations, launching in London Charing Cross in February this year.  It has already been expanded to Liverpool Lime Street, Birmingham New Street, Manchester Piccadilly and London Euston, each location saving up to 1,000 plastic bottles each week.

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: “Network Rail has an important responsibility to the British public which goes much further than travel.  We manage Britain’s biggest and busiest stations and we have to ensure we are using that role to make sensible and ethical decisions to protect our environment.

“That’s why today we’re proud to announce that we will be tackling some of the biggest sustainability issues we face head on.”

Network Rail has already written to the 150 retail brands based in its 20 managed stations, outlining plans to work with them to phase out plastic cutlery and cups.  It has also begun a back of house trial of coffee cup recycling at London stations Victoria and Paddington. 

The trial sees cups collected from station retailers and placed into special bins in staff-only areas before being taken offsite to be reprocessed into new materials for benches, decking and even reusable cups.

Source: Company Press Release