Etihad Airways to reduce single-use plastics by 80%

The carrier is the first in the Middle Eastern region to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board

United Arab Emirates-based carrier Etihad Airways has pledged to implement measures towards a more environment-friendly operation. By 2022 the airline aims to reduce single-use plastics by 80 per cent.

To demonstrate its dedication, Etihad flew the region’s first ever flight without any single-use plastics on board. The unprecedented flight took place during the Earth Day celebrations on 22 April.

Currently, the carrier utilises over 95 single-use plastic products in each of their cabins. Once removed from the Earth Day flight, Etihad reportedly prevented over 50 kilograms of plastics from being landfilled.

Instead of plastic utensils, guests on board could enjoy replacement products including sustainable amenity kits, eco-thread blankets made out of recycled plastic bottles, tablet toothpaste and edible coffee cups.

As a result of planning the Earth Day flight, Etihad additionally committed to removing up to 20 per cent of all single-use plastic items on board by 1 June 2019. By the end of this year, the airline will have removed 100 tonnes of single-use plastics from its in-flight service.

Etihad Airways is not the first airline to reduce single-use plastics. In May 2018, Alaska Airlines decided to replace all plastic straws and citrus picks with more eco-friendly alternatives. In July, American Airlines started to use biodegradable, eco-friendly stir sticks onboard and in lounges instead.

Air New Zealand adopted a similar approach in October. In February this year, Qantas announced its plans to reduce landfill waste by 70 per cent.

California might ban small shampoo bottles from hotels

The American state of California aims to push the war against single-use plastics to another level. If approved, a new assembly would ban hotels, resorts and other vacation rentals from handing out shampoos, creams and other amenities in small plastic bottles.

The new bill could ban hotels, resorts and other vacation rentals from handing out shampoos — Shutterstock Etihad Airways to reduce single-use plastics by 80%
The new bill could ban hotels, resorts and other vacation rentals from handing out shampoos — Shutterstock

By January 2023, hotels would have to replace the sample-size products with dispensers or bottles larger than 250 millilitres (8.5 oz).

“We are addicted to plastic as a society,” said democratic assemblyman Ash Kalra of San Jose, the bill’s author.

“I do hope my colleagues view this as a common-sense piece of legislation that once again puts us forward as leaders when it comes to trying to reduce our plastic consumption and leaders on issues of the environment.”