American Airlines to ditch single-use plastics

The carrier will use biodegradable, eco-friendly stir sticks onboard and in lounges

American Airlines have decided to take action to help rescue the oceans and will replace all single-use plastic straws and stir sticks with more environmentally friendly materials.

Starting this month, the American flag carrier will eliminate plastic utensils from its lounges and instead serve drinks with biodegradable straws and wooden stir sticks. The airline will also begin transitioning to eco-friendly flatware within lounges.

American Airlines follow other big businesses with eco-friendly measures — Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock American Airlines to ditch single-use plastics
American Airlines will follow other big businesses with eco-friendly measures – Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock

They will also extend the measures in November when the plastics usually offered during onboard beverage service will be replaced by straws and stir sticks made of sustainable and environmentally friendly bamboo.

By replacing the accessories with a less damaging material, the carrier will get rid of the use of more than 32 tonnes of plastic per year.

“We’re very excited and proud to share this initiative with our team members and customers,” said Jill Surdek, vice president, flight service. “We’re cognizant of our impact on the environment and we remain committed to doing our part to sustain the planet for future generations of travellers.”

The move comes in the light of other big businesses recognising the threat of overusing plastics and its impact on the environment as many environmental watchdog groups have expressed their concerns about how much plastic is making its way into the planet’s oceans.

Recently, Starbucks have announced they will stop offering single-use plastics completely by 2020 and, in May, Alaska Airlines launched an environmentally friendly program consisting of getting rid of all single-use plastic on board.

The carrier will eliminate the use of plastic straws and stir sticks onboard in November  — Shutterstock American Airlines to ditch single-use plastics
The carrier will eliminate the use of plastic straws and stir sticks onboard in November – Shutterstock

“Whether providing fantastic service or leading in sustainability, caring about people and communities is in our DNA,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of external relations.

“Without a doubt, we fly to some of the most beautiful places on earth, including many communities that depend on healthy oceans.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Lonely Whale to take this next step in our sustainability journey, and help keep the places we live and fly beautiful for years to come. It’s especially appropriate now as ending plastic pollution was the theme for Earth Day this year.”