Airlines explore alternatives to single-use plastics
INNOVATIONS PLANNED AND IN-PROGRESS
Several airlines are finding alternatives that are compostable or more easily recycled than plastic. 1
easyJet will discount hot drink purchases for customers supplying their own reusable cup. The airline is also introducing a compostable cup having a plant-based lining.
easyJet is replacing plastic spoons with wooden alternatives.
- Air Canada will save 35 million plastic stir sticks annually, replacing them on all flights with wood stir sticks. If laid end-to-end, those sticks could extend from Halifax to Vancouver. 3
- Air Canada’s stir stick replacement will be made of bamboo and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which assures products come from responsible sources so that forests remain thriving environments for generations to come.
- Air New Zealand has already removed more than 7 million coffee stirrers.
- Wood stir sticks are replacing plastic ones on easyJet.
- Alaska Airlines no longer uses plastic straws.
- Delta Air Lines is phasing out plastic straws.
- To date, Air New Zealand has removed more than 3,000 straws.
Other single-use items
Half a million eye mask bags and toothbrushes have been removed from Air New Zealand lounges and aircraft.
- Among the goals that Air Canada has set for 2020, 50 percent of approved items onboard will be recycled rather than single-use. 3
- Over the next year, Air New Zealand will ban plastic cups, lids, bags, and a dozen other single-use items.
- British Airways has committed to source non-plastic alternatives where possible.
- Within a year of its four historic wet-lease flights, Hi Fly will implement a plastic-free policy on all its flights.
- Within its five-year plan to become “the greenest airline”, Ryanair has pledged to eliminate non-recyclable plastics from its aircraft and head offices. On board, items like wooden cutlery and bio-degradable coffee cups will replace plastic products.
- This year, Thomas Cook will remove more than 70 million single-use plastics from aircraft and in its branded hotels. That equates to 3,500 filled suitcases.