No coffee, no juice, no mineral water in plastic cups. They are no longer there and will not be on board if you are flying on an Alaska Airlines flight.
The Seattle-based airline said it had completely abandoned plastic cups on its flights, replacing them with paper ones. All this is part of the sustainable development program, which, according to the carrier, will eliminate the use of almost 55 million plastic products per year.
Now flight attendants will serve drinks during the flight in special paper cups certified by forest protection authorities, or in reusable glassware in First Class.
Alaska Airlines says the move makes it the first U.S. airline to completely remove single-use plastic cups from its flights.
The phase-out of plastic began in 2018 as part of a broader sustainability campaign that included the abandonment of plastic straws and stirrers.
But it should not only be about drinks. Food and cutlery on flights are also usually packaged and served in plastic. Given that billions of people fly every year, it is impossible to calculate how much specific waste airlines generate.
Today, conversations about sustainable development have come to the fore, and the aviation industry is looking for ways to limit the amount of waste during flight. Shortly after Alaska announced the end of the production of plastic straws and stirrers, other major US airlines — American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, followed suit.
American has promised to use alternatives to plastic cutlery and stirrers in its salons. United said it would replace plastic straws and stirrers with bamboo ones. Delta has announced plans to remove all single-use items: dishes, wrappers, stirrers and straws.
As for Alaska Airlines, over the past few years it has launched many sustainability initiatives: distributing packaged water and encouraging passengers to fill their own bottles with water before boarding.
The carrier also stated that it intends to work towards achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2040 through various strategies, such as switching to environmentally friendly aviation fuel.