Emirates has made a network-wide commitment to reduce single-use plastics on board its aircraft. Eco-friendly paper straws were introduced in June and all Emirates flights will soon be plastic straw-free.
The airline has been working on various long-term sustainability initiatives. In addition to plastic straws, plastic swizzle sticks and stirrers will also be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives by the end of the year. From August, plastic bags used for Inflight Retail purchases will also be replaced with paper bags. These initiatives will remove an estimated 81.7 million single-use plastic items from landfills every year.
Trials have been conducted on Emirates flights to explore various recycling initiatives on board and Emirates staff and cabin crew constantly give feedback and suggestions on other environmentally friendly ideas. As part of its long-term vision and fuelled by a cabin crew member’s suggestion, the airline has been segregating large plastic bottles on board to be recycled in Dubai and the rest of the world.
“Our journey towards environmental sustainability is now more important than ever, we need to take an active role to make an impact where we can, which also resonates strongly with our community in Kenya. By eliminating single-use plastic and replacing plastic straws with eco-friendly paper straws on board, is testament to our commitment in reducing our carbon footprint,” said Hendrik du Preez, Emirates Regional Manager East Africa.
In 2017, Emirates introduced ecoTHREAD™ blankets made from recycled plastic bottles for its Economy Class cabin. Each Emirates ecoTHREAD™ blanket is made from 28 recycled plastic bottles. With the latest innovation, the bottles are recycled into plastic chips before being turned into yarn, creating a polar fleece material. The fine thread is then woven into soft blankets.
“We are excited at the opportunity to innovate in environmental sustainability while maintaining our standards of quality and comfort for our travellers,” added Mr. du Preez
By the end of 2019, Emirates ecoTHREAD™ blankets will have rescued 88 million plastic bottles from landfills– equivalent to the weight of 44 A380 aircraft.