Airline plans phase out of single-use plastic items
In a first for the airline industry, Portuguese airline Hi Fly made the first-ever jet-age passenger flight without a single-use plastic item on board. While Alaska Airlines has cut plastic straws and Air New Zealand and Delta have minimized plastic usage, there had yet to be an airline functioning entirely without single-use plastic items.
That all changed on December 26th with Hi Fly’s flight from Lisbon to Natal, Brazil, the first of a ‘plastics-free’ trial. The carrier announced four trial flights by its wide-body Airbus A340, 9H-SUN with over 700 passengers participating.
“This historic Hi Fly flight, without any single-use plastic items on board, underlines our commitment to making Hi Fly the world’s first ‘plastics-free’ airline within 12 months” said Hi Fly President Paulo Mirpuri. “The test flights will prevent around 350 KG of single-use, virtually indestructible plastics from poisoning our environment, “he added.
“Over 100,000 flights take off each day around the world and, last year, commercial aircraft carried nearly four billion passengers. This number is expected to double again in less than 20 years. So, the potential to make a difference here is clearly enormous,” he added.
Among the single-use plastic items replaced include cups, spoons, salt and pepper shakers, sick bags, packaging for bedding, dishes, individual butter pots, soft drink bottles and toothbrushes.
Innovations presented by Hi Fly environmental experts include bamboo cutlery, an array of paper packaging, and compostable containers.