With airlines realising a mixture of public pressure and regulation is coming to reduce the amount of plastic waste being generated in-flight, each airline is coming up with new solutions to meet those needs
Iberia is joining this challenge and is aiming to reduce its plastic consumption by 68.5 tonnes per annum.
So what’s being replaced?
In terms of plastic reduction, there’s a lot to be done.
- Paper has replaced plastic for wrapping blankets and duvets.
- Plastic packaging of some items in long-haul Business class toilet kits has been removed.
- Headphones in all seating classes are offered as is, with no wrapping
- The plastic wrapping of children’s kits on long-haul flights will also be removed from September
- Plastic swizzle sticks for beverages have been replaced with bamboo ones.
- Plastic bags used for collecting and storing soiled linen, blankets and pillows are now thinner.
- Paper drinking straws have replaced plastic ones.
The initiative continues on the ground in the airline’s lounges at Madrid Airport, where glass bottles are replacing cans and plastic containers, as well as suppliers delivering items in bulk containers.
It doesn’t sound like much, but Iberia states this has lead to a reduction of nearly one million cans and 200,000 plastic containers, or 23.5 tonnes of cans and 6.5 tonnes of plastic every year.
As well as not using plastic, re-use of items is still a priority, with the airline reusing bags to collect and store cabin linen, blankets and so on.
Numbers add up
This is a numbers game that adds up over time – as well as the fuel cost of carrying the single-use plastics from A to B, with them heading into landfill straight after. A reduction in plastic will be welcome along with the lower fuel bill.
As airlines attempt to move to a more sustainable way of flying – there has to be a focus on reducing fuel use and weight – be it optimising flight paths, cargo and weight.
And removing something that will just end up in landfill is a welcome thing to see.
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