Deutsche Bahn to offer coffee in porcelain cups and vegan menus

Train passenger having coffee - Freepik

Germany’s national railroad, Deutsche Bahn AG, is accelerating the pace of its environmental transformation. The most recent move toward going “green” is switching to porcelain cups from paper ones.

Starting next year, passengers will be able to drink and eat from “high-quality porcelain or glass” utensils. “Beginning January 1, 2023, customers will be able to select premium china and glass as an option for their bar car food and beverages,” the company announced on Tuesday.

While the current plastic and cardboard packaging will continue to be available on customer request, “reusable” cups, plates or bowls on long-distance and high-speed services will be “available free of charge, without deposit, on demand for all orders”.

From 1 January 2023, the German government has made it compulsory for restaurants, bistros and cafés that sell take-away food or drinks to also offer their products in reusable packaging. The change will bring Deutsche Bahn’s services into compliance with the new regulations.

“Deutsche Bahn is driving forward its green transformation in onboard catering,” said Michael Petersen, the company’s director of passenger transport. The carrier has already provided “50% vegetarian or vegan meals” as well as “100% organic products” since March as part of its attempts to reduce its environmental footprint.

Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s largest energy consumer set itself a goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040. On Monday, the state-owned railways introduced its speediest ICE express train, the ICE 3neo, manufactured by Siemens Mobility. The train that reaches 300km/h made its inaugural trip with passengers between Frankfurt/Main and Cologne, on Monday.

Michael Theurer, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Digital and Transport said in a statement: “the new ICE stands for progress on the rails – fast, digital, barrier-free. Initially here between Frankfurt and Cologne, soon throughout Germany. The 73 new trains with their 32,000 additional seats will make a major contribution to implementing the nation-wide synchronized timetable. This will bring us another step closer to our goal of doubling the number of rail passengers over the next eight years.”

The new timetable of Deutsche Bahn, which will be released on December 11th, will include the new trains. Planned for 2024 are international connections to Brussels and Amsterdam.