Network Rail’s free drinking water initiative at stations has helped saved equivalent of 150,000 plastic bottles from ending up in landfills.

The initiative was launched in London Charing Cross station in February and then expanded to nine railway stations, including Liverpool Lime Street, Birmingham New Street, Manchester Piccadilly and London Euston.

Each of these stations has been saving the equivalent of up to 1,000 plastic bottles each week.

The free drinking water initiative intends to encourage passengers and other station users to refill their multiple use water bottles rather than purchasing plastic ones.

“These small, but important steps, will help provide a healthier and greener future, for passengers and the planet.”

The scheme is part of Network Rail’s wider goal of becoming a leader in sustainability and minimising the impact of plastic waste in its stations.

It is also in line with the company’s newly announced plans to work with retailers to end the supply of plastic cutlery and cups, implement a coffee cup recycling scheme, and expand the launch of coffee ground recycling across its stations by 2020.

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Network Rail CEO Andrew Haines said: “This is one of the many things we are doing to help our country become more sustainable.

“These small, but important steps, will help provide a healthier and greener future, for passengers and the planet.”

Network Rail plans to add 11 new stations to have water fountains by the end of the year. The expansion is expected to enable passengers in Network Rail stations to save up to 368,000 plastic bottles by the end of this year.

In addition, with its free drinking water initiative, Network Rail has supported City to Sea’s National Refill Day observed on 27 September.

National Refill Day aims to reduce plastic pollution by encouraging people to refill their multiple use bottles.