Tonnes of recyclable waste sent to landfill due to lack of bins on trains
The lack of bins on trains limits recycling options, despite a survey showing that 82 per cent of passengers would choose to recycle.
Due to the lack of recyclable waste disposal options across Britain’s trains, thousands of tonnes of rubbish is predicted to have gone straight to landfill each year. Over 1.5 billion individual journeys are made in the UK annually with passengers generating tonnes of waste products, the majority of which are not recycled.
Mark Hall, spokesperson for Business Waste, said: “Network Rail and the train franchises say they’re proud of the recycling records but the lack of on-board choice gives an empty ring to their words. They need to do more.”
According to figures published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), rail passenger journeys rose to 1.8 billion during 2018 and 2019. Therefore, it is inevitable that tens of millions of those journeys created some form of on-board waste. This includes items such as: food wrappers, food waste, newspapers and magazines, plastic drinks bottles, drinks cans, and the general detritus that comes with sitting in a railway carriage for any period of time.
Hall continues, emphasising that there’s no inclination from rail companies to separate what is thrown away, so it all heads straight to landfill: “As you can see, it cries out to be recycled. But, it all goes into the single general waste bin that you see on most trains and rail platforms, which is never going to be recycled. Nobody wants to fish apple cores and banana skins out of a plastic sack of old newspapers. That’s a direct cost to the rail companies as Landfill Tax, a cost that’s inevitably passed on to passengers. And it’s also a cost to us all as wasted resources.”
Business Waste conducted a survey of 1,500 rail passengers, with results highlighting that there is a clear will among travellers to recycle their on-board waste. The survey found that 82 per cent of passengers would recycle their waste on board or on the platform if facilities existed, but only nine per cent of passengers say they take their recyclable waste home to put in their own bins.