Air New Zealand to lift plastic waste reduction to more than 24 million items per year
Today at its Sustainability Breakfast in Wellington the airline committed to replacing five single-use plastic products across domestic services, including water cups, café cups and lids, Koru Hour cheese plates and lids, as well as 9 types of plastic bags network-wide, with lower impact alternatives over the next 12 months.
Already this year the airline has removed single-use plastic straws, stir sticks, eye mask wrappers and plastic toothbrushes from lounges and on board aircraft. Over a 12 month period this will see the airline reduce its plastic footprint by 260,000 plastic toothbrushes, 3,000 straws, 7.1 million stirrers and 260,000 eye mask wrappers.
These changes are part of a wider programme aimed at reducing the airline's use of plastic, supported by the Ministry for the Environment, which has assisted the airline in identifying lower impact alternatives and aligning its end-of life solutions to New Zealand's existing facilities, recycling and composting capabilities.
Air New Zealand's Head of Sustainability Lisa Daniell says the airline's employees and its customers have been a real catalyst for this change.
"Plastics are top of mind for us and our customers. Several of our waste and plastic reduction initiatives have been brought about by our employees telling us we can do better in this area. We know these are small steps but given our scale, they do result in a significant amount of single-use plastic being avoided.
"If we were to line up all of the plastic stirrers we are replacing across our network, they would span the length of Cape Reinga to Taupo (around 700km).
"We are also working closely with our suppliers, who to date have been really supportive in helping us search for new ways to directly procure a number of inflight single-use plastic products, as has the Ministry for the Environment," says Ms Daniell.
Alternatives to single-use plastic products, including paper straws and wooden stirrers, are now available across all of Air New Zealand's lounges and aircraft on request.
About Star Alliance
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Avianca Brasil, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Air Portugal, THAI, Turkish Airlines, and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,800 daily flights to 1,317 airports in 193 countries. Further connecting flights are offered by Star Alliance Connecting Partner, Juneyao Airlines.
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