Airlines operating plastic-free flight
In January 2019, Portuguese airline Hi Fly completes a trial of a plastic-free flight. The flight, which flew from Lisbon, Portugal to Natal, Brazil, took place on 26th December 2018 and carried more than 700 passengers. Although this was originally just trial flights, the Hi Fly president has said that he aims to be the first plastic-free airline by 2020.
Some of the plastic items which were replaced with sustainable alternatives such as bamboo and other compostable materials included cups, cutlery, salt and pepper shakers, sick bags, packaging for blankets and pillows, dishes, food packaging, and toothbrushes.
In just the test flights alone, the airline prevented around 350 kg of single-use plastics from entering the environment, clearly having a huge impact on the environment already.
In June 2019, this airline has committed to reducing its plastic consumption and waste onboard its flights. Paper straws have already replaced the plastic ones as of June 2019, and the airline has pledged that they will ban and replace plastic stirrers by the end of the year. Any inflight purchases that are made will be wrapped in a paper bag, as opposed to a plastic one.
The airline has already trialled the plastic-free flights, as well as exploring different recycling schemes on board. It is believed that these actions will help to remove over 80 million single-use plastic items from landfill, every year.
This is also in addition to the actions in 2017 by the airline, to replace the flight blankets with ones made from recycled plastic bottles, called ecoTHREAD.
Ryanair announced that they are due to become completely plastic-free by 2023. Not only will this pledge affect the flight and services, but also the companies head offices, bases and total operations. They say it will be done by making the switch to more sustainable materials, such as wooden cutlery, bio-degradable coffee cups and plastic wrapping on in-flight products.