Passengers help save 500,000 plastic bottles by using free station water fountains: Water refill point

Wednesday 19 Jun 2019

Passengers help save 500,000 plastic bottles by using free station water fountains

Region & Route:
London North Western
North West Central

Passengers travelling between London Euston, the Midlands and North West have helped save more than half a million plastic water bottles* over the last year by using free station water fountains.

Today (Tuesday June 19) marking the milestone on National Refill Day, Network Rail has set a new target of saving two million water bottles across all of its stations by the end of 2019.

National Refill Day is a campaign led by not-for-profit group City to Sea, who will be at Birmingham New Street station today (June 19) asking passengers if they’ve #GotTheBottle to tackle plastic pollution.

Passengers will be encouraged to download City to Sea’s Refill App, which connects people to over 21,000 Refill Stations around the UK, including Network Rail’s water fountains.

Over the last 13 months, the most popular place for passengers to refill their flasks on the London North Western route was London Euston (219,487 bottles), followed by Manchester Piccadilly (141,532 bottles), Birmingham New Street (138,972 bottles), and Liverpool Lime Street (42,395 bottles).

Nineteen Network Rail managed stations now have free fountains, and since they were introduced in 2018 passengers embracing the ‘refill revolution’ have helped save more than a million plastic bottles from either going to landfill or permanently polluting our environment, waterways or oceans.

Laid down end-to-end those one million bottles would stretch between London and Cardiff (146 miles) or fill a total of 833 rubbish trucks.

Now Network Rail is calling on passengers to help reach its target of saving two million plastic bottles by the end of 2019.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “This is a great start and shows that passengers share our passion to reduce single use plastic. I regularly use the water fountains when I’m on the go and I’m pleased to say we’re making it even easier for people using our stations to refill their bottles too.”

Rail Minister Andrew Jones said: “It is fantastic to see how Network Rail are successfully encouraging more and more passengers re-fill their water bottles at stations, cutting plastic waste on their journeys and at stations.

“Last week’s net zero announcement highlights this government’s commitment to tackling climate change, and this initiative ensures more is being done to help reduce plastic pollution.”

Natalie Fee, Founder, City to Sea, said: “We’re really pleased that Network Rail are part of the Refill Revolution this National Refill Day. Their support makes it even easier for everyone to find free drinking water when travelling - meaning we can all save money and save the planet from plastic pollution in one go! People from all walks of life are carrying a reusable bottle now and with Network Rail installing water fountains, we’re rapidly doing away with the need to buy planet-polluting plastic bottled water.”

For details on how to download City to Sea’s refill app visit:

Notes to editors

*1 million water bottles saved based on an average 23.5cm 500ml bottle. Each water fountain contains a digital tracker to count the number of 500ml bottles saved.

Network Rail manages 20 stations across Britain. Free drinking water fountains can be found in the following Network Rail managed stations:

Birmingham New Street
Bristol Temple Meads
Clapham Junction
Edinburgh Waverley
Glasgow Central
Liverpool Lime Street
London Bridge
London Cannon Street
London Charing Cross
London Euston
London King’s Cross
London Liverpool Street
London Paddington
London St. Pancras International
London Victoria
London Waterloo
Manchester Piccadilly

The final station, Leeds, is on track to install a fountain as part of wider refurbishment works later this year. 

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
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Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
0330 854 0100

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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