With the help of station users, the UK’s Network Rail has saved the equivalent of one million plastic water bottles from entering landfill as part of its free drinking water initiative.

The organisation is now working toward a goal of saving the equivalent of two million water bottles by the end of the year and is encouraging passengers to switch to reusable bottles.

To monitor the number of 500ml bottles that are saved, each water fountain contains a digital tracker.

Network Rail CEO Andrew Haines 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.”

The company launched the initiative at London Charing Cross in February 2018 and expanded it to 19 of the largest railway stations in the country, including Bristol Temple Meads, Birmingham New Street, Manchester Piccadilly and London King’s Cross.

It is currently in the process of installing a fountain at Leeds station as part of wider refurbishment works.

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The announcement coincides with City to Sea’s National Refill Day initiative aimed at reducing plastic pollution.

The event commences today at London Charing Cross, London Paddington, London Bridge and Birmingham New Street stations and will attempt to raise the profile of station water fountains.

Network Rail is encouraging passengers to download the City to Sea’s Refill app to connect them to more than 21,000 refill stations across the country, including Network Rail’s water fountains.

UK Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “It is great to see Refill Day go from strength to strength, with even more major retailers making it easy to access free water refills, and over 20,000 refill points now listed on the app.

“I encourage everyone to download the Refill app and join in with the effort, helping to protect our precious environment one refill at a time.”