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This Airline Is Set to Become the World's First Plastic-Free Carrier

Portuguese carrier Hi Fly has conducted a world-first trial, preventing 350kg of single-use plastics from making their way to landfill.
By Libby Curran
January 04, 2019
By Libby Curran
January 04, 2019

From sets of plastic cutlery in their own little wrappers to countless scraps of disposable packaging, plane rides usually equate to a veritable tidal wave of plastic waste.

But that could soon change, with the world's first jet-age passenger flights completely free of single-use plastics trialled at the end of 2018. And, the airline behind it has committed to becoming the world's first plastics-free carrier within the next 12 months.

Kicking off on December 26, the trials saw Portuguese charter airline Hi Fly make four of its usual trips between Lisbon and Natal, Brazil, but this time there was one very big difference — not one single-use plastic item was on board the Airbus A330-200. Around 700 passengers were involved in the history-making journeys, making return flights between home and holiday destinations.

With an estimated 100,000 commercial flights jetting off around the world each day, the airline industry is a massive contributor to the earth's plastic waste woes. According to Hi Fly's principal sustainability partner, the Mirpuri Foundation, the plastic-free trials prevented a huge 350 kilograms of harmful single-use materials from making their way to landfill.

They also provided an opportunity to roadtest a variety of plastic-alternative products that have been in development by environmental experts. Think soft drink bottles, single-serve butter pots, sickness bags, food dishes, toothbrushes, cutlery, and salt and pepper shakers made from bamboo, paper and compostable substances.

Published on January 04, 2019 by Libby Curran
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