Skip to main content

Main navigation

Reducing waste

NS encourages its own staff, its retail tenants and passengers to reduce waste. This page highlights a few of the measures we have taken for this purpose.

Bring your own cup

Every year people drink more than 30 million cups of tea, coffee or hot chocolate at our stations. Most of it is served in disposable cups. If you linked them together, all of those disposable cups could stretch from Utrecht to Moscow and beyond. But there's a better way. Passengers who bring their own cups will receive a discount of at least € 0.25 at more than 200 station retail units.

Bring your own cup

Is it true: are reusable cups more sustainable than disposable cups?

If all of us use more reusable cups, we'll reduce the use of disposable cups and cut waste. But you still need to wash reusable cups. The most environmentally-friendly way to do this is simply to rinse them briefly with cold water. Research by Milieu Centraal shows that this minimises the impact on the environment.

Installing drinking water taps

In 2019 drinking water taps were installed by NS at 200 stations. As a result, passengers will soon have access to free drinking water at around 240 stations. During their journeys 90% of passengers will pass a tap, which they can use to fill their own water bottle.

Don't have your own reusable bottle? Don't worry, you can buy one at many of our stations.

A new life for a train

After around 20 years of service, all VIRM-type double-decker trains are being modernised. This work involves refurbishing 86% of parts and reinstalling them in trains, while 13% will be given a new life elsewhere. This means that we are reusing 99% of materials, keeping 25 million kilos of valuable materials in circulation. And our passengers can enjoy another 20 years of travel in our new trains.

After 40 years, we will consider whether it's still possible to refurbish a train or redeploy it, for example to the railway museum or fire department, or put it on sale. If these options are not possible, we will recover the valuable parts for reuse in other trains and for Techniek Fabriek, where we train our engineers. Collectors' items are also retrieved for sale through our foundation kaNScentraal. In addition we offer businesses the opportunity to buy old  rolling stock to be repurposed. For instance the first SGM Sprinters will go out of service in 2020 and we are looking for companies that may be interested in reusing their interior fittings .

Between now and 2028 we expect to dismantle and recycle 1000 units of rolling stock, which are expected to contain 57.6 million kilos of valuable raw materials. The lessons and experiences that we gain from modernisation and dismantling are taken into consideration in the specifications for new train purchases, which remain ongoing. Through all these efforts we aim to realise our ambition: 100% circular trains.

A new life for a double-decker