Regulations & Policies

Network Rail to restrict plastic use for food retailers

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

The group plans to ban retailers from supplying plastic cutlery and cups in managed stations, implement a coffee cup recycling scheme for managed stations, and expand the role out of coffee ground recycling to all managed stations, all by the end of 2020.

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A total of 94% of Network Rail’s waste is currently already diverted from landfills, but the track maintenance 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.

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 reusable cups.

Wetherspoon, Greggs, Leon, Waitrose and Cafe Nero have all welcomed the initiative.

Mark Carne, CEO of Network Rail, said: “[We have] 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.”

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