AUTHOR: HANNNAH DEAN-WOOD
This past Thursday we got to celebrate Eurostar’s 25th birthday with a trip to Paris on their first ever single-use plastic free train.
Having just received their first 3 Star Food Made Good Sustainability Rating with the SRA it proved an exciting opportunity to see their various initiatives come to life. The business lounge was a good first impression of their food offering complete with smoothie bar and breakfast buffet but most exciting was the on-board meal.
Through the collaboration between SRA President and Eurostar Culinary Director, Raymond Blanc OBE, and Eurostar itself, great strides had been made in sourcing local products for the menu. Apples are a particular passion project for Mr Blanc so, of course, a lovely Kent variety was included in the dessert option. Providing further food for thought Eurostar also gave us a copy of one of their first ever menus from 1994. I found it fascinating that no vegetarian option was included back then and am happy to report that this has since become a standard offering.
With plastics in the spotlight I naturally tried to scope out any typically single–use plastic products. I’m pleased to report that all cutlery is completely reusable, the water was served in cans, the wine and soft drinks were in glasses and there was not a plastic straw in sight!
To continue their sustainability journey Eurostar also announced that as part of their Tread Lightly campaign they will be planting a tree for every train leaving the station from 01 Jan 2020. CEO Mike Cooper reflected on how far they have come over the years and stated that since the campaigns launched 12 years ago they have been able to reduce their footprint by 40%. More recently they have removed 1 million plastic bottles in last 12 months and are projecting that they will remove another 3 million over next 12 months.
While the single-use plastic free train may have been a one off we know that Eurostar commitment to the environment combined with the increasing demand for sustainable travel means initiatives like this are close to becoming permanent offerings.
Cheers to you Eurostar! CONGRATULATIONS on your 25 years of success and we look forward to continuing the journey with you. You’re right on track!