Eurostar pledges to plant a tree for every train from next year

Train operator marks its 25th anniversary with new environmental commitments


Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Thursday 14 November 2019 08:52 GMT
Eurostar at 25: CEO Mike Cooper talks about firm's plans on lower fares and planting trees

Eurostar is marking 25 years since it started running passenger trains from London via the Channel Tunnel to Paris by strengthening its environmental commitments.

The train operator, which also serves Amsterdam, Brussels and Disneyland Paris, is promising to “plant a tree for every train” that it operates – meaning around 50 per day.

From the start of 2020, each year 20,000 additional trees will be planted in woodlands in the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The train operator will also run the first “plastic-free” train – from which it says single-use plastics have been eliminated as “a demonstration of Eurostar’s environmental ambitions for its onboard experience”.

The train forming the 10.24am departure from London to Paris and the inbound service at 4.13pm will feature new wooden cutlery, recyclable cans of water, glass wine bottles, paper-based coffee cups and environmentally friendly packaging for food served to customers.

Passengers, though, remain free to bring their own plastic water bottles onboard.

Eurostar says that the carbon emissions per person are just one-10th of the equivalent flights, and that a single car journey from central London to Heathrow produces more CO2 per person than a rail trip from the capital to Paris.

Mike Cooper, Eurostar’s chief executive, said: “We have always had a strong sense of responsibility for the environment but as the demand for sustainable travel becomes increasingly critical, we believe we can raise the bar.

“With our environmental ambitions and our tree planting programme we are providing an attractive, eco-friendly alternative to the airlines.”

The operator’s original ambition to run a fleet of “Regional Eurostar” trains from cities such as Cardiff, Manchester and Edinburgh to Continental Europe was soon abandoned as budget airlines expanded their operations in the late 1990s.

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