Circular Economy

We work hard to apply circular economy principles to continually identify and improve how our materials are managed in order to meet our targets.

We apply the principles of circular economy to all of our activities and continually identify and improve how our materials are managed at our stations, offices and depots. We need to do this in order to meet our challenging annual targets to recycle and minimise the waste we dispose of to landfill. We must divert a minimum of 95% of our waste from landfill and collect and recycle a minimum of 35% of waste at source.

What is circular economy?

“Circular economy is part of the solution to our global climate emergency - one in which products, services and systems are designed to maximise their value and minimise waste.” - Zero Waste Scotland

For ScotRail, it’s about influencing waste minimisation and using and promoting products that are robust and can be reused and recycled. We don’t want to be using things that have a short life span. We ensure that we are doing everything we can with our materials to minimise our impact on the environment.

Circular Economy

Following the waste hierarchy, as shown above, we will continue to seek opportunities across the business to prevent waste, reuse, recycle and recover whatever we can. We will work to continually develop how we apply circular economy principles to the supply of goods and services.

This includes:

  • Applying circular economy principles and working to prevent, reuse, recycle, recover and minimise waste across our activities.
  • Partnering with a Scottish resource recovery expert organisation to support our activities and objectives.
  • Continuing to invest in facilities to promote better reuse, recycling, recovery and disposal
  • Setting annual objectives and targets.
  • Reducing the amount of waste we dispose of at our stations and depots.
  • Increasing recycling.
  • Reducing waste sent to landfill.

By doing this, it helps to improve our waste management and environmental impacts, making us more resource efficient and helping us to reach our targets.

Everyone can contribute to the waste hierarchy by not creating any unnecessary waste, and by recycling what they can. We recently invested over £50,000 to improve the recycling facilities at our stations. This is to make it easier for passengers and members of staff to recycle.

What you can do

Use our dedicated recycling bins

You’ll find recycling facilities at lots of stations across Scotland’s Railway. Please always take your waste with you at the end of your journey and if you cant reuse, put it in a bin on board or dispose of it on the platform in the dedicated recycling bins.

Make greener choices

Enjoying a ‘train picnic’ is one of the best things about a train journey, particularly a long one. So next time you travel, why not think about which water bottle you take, trying to choose a reusable one over single-use plastic. Take along your own reusable coffee cup instead of using a takeaway cup. Little changes like these help to reduce the amount of plastics and waste being thrown away.

Share any ideas you have

We’re always on the lookout for ways to improve so if you spot anything while travelling that you think could be improved on, please do get in touch. We’re always open to ideas and insight. Please email [email protected] .

For more ideas on what you can do at home to reduce, reuse and recycle, there are some brilliant tips at