Edinburgh city skyline
Edinburgh city skyline

Lumo leads the way for a plastic-free future

The East Coast Main Line train operator, Lumo, is proud to announce a UK first for any train company in eliminating plastic bottles onboard its services which connect Edinburgh and London

Published 22 Apr 2024

To coincide with Earth Day (22 April 2024) Lumo’s all-electric fleet of trains will now offer cartons of water in a bespoke 100% recyclable carton, reducing the many thousands of plastic bottles produced each week. 

The Newcastle based operator worked in partnership with North East England entrepreneur Callum Mather from Everdurance to make the switch away from plastic become a reality; thought to be the first of any major long distance travel provider. 

Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director of Lumo, said: “We already know that travelling by train is a very green way to get around and at Lumo our all-electric train fleet delivers the very best rail sustainability footprint, backed up by sustainability being at the heart of all we do from paper free work practices to more than 50 per cent of our food and drink menu being plant based. 

“We are continuing to look at ways to further improve our sustainability credentials to continue offering our customers great value fares but also a super sustainable travel solution. Eliminating plastic bottles from our onboard service is another big step is making Lumo the best way to travel between London, Newcastle and Edinburgh, and we’re delighted to be doing this with so many great partners including our supply chain provider Rail Gourmet.” 

This is the latest move by the company to further establish itself as the most sustainable way to travel the East Coast route. Earlier this month plastic bottles of wine and fruit juice were replaced by sustainable alternatives as part of the popular onboard ‘LumoEats’ at seat food and drink offer. The pioneering move to introduce Flawsome juices made from ‘wonky’ fruits in a carton is sustainable from both a raw product and packaging perspective. 

Customers will be able to purchase Lumo’s carton water when travelling onboard services from this week. Lumo has also become the latest member of Transform Scotland; Scotland’s alliance for promoting sustainable, accessible and affordable transport. 

Callum Mather, Customer Success Director at Everdurance, said: “As proud eco-enthusiasts dedicated to providing sustainable solutions to businesses working to reduce their carbon footprint, we’re very excited to be working with Rail Gourmet to help make Lumo journeys even greener and cleaner. 
“Our journey began with the goal of replacing plastic bottles with carton water solutions addressing environmental concerns so it’s a proud moment to see our cartons of water available on Lumo’s high-speed services on the East Coast route.” 

Choosing rail travel is a notably more sustainable choice over air, specifically traveling on a Lumo train is 25 times greener than flying thanks to the all-electric fleet. No UK domestic airline currently offers a sustainable alternative to plastic water bottles.

Earlier this year a report by Arup commissioned by Lumo revealed the operator saved 60.6 kilotons of CO2 last year - the equivalent of taking 13,475 petrol-powered cars off the road for a year or powering 7,632 homes for the same duration. The results also established that the open access operator saved eight times the carbon emissions it produced, as it attracted passengers from other, more polluting, modes of transport and continues to see people make the switch to rail.