On Earth Day, Etihad Airways flew its first flight without any single-use plastics on board. The flight from Abu Dhabi to Brisbane made Etihad Airways the first major Gulf airline that went plastic free.
The flight EY484 left Abu Dhabi in the UAE on April 21 and arrived in Brisbane, Australia on April 22, which is Earth Day. Earth Day is a global day to support environmental protection.
The milestone flight is part of Etihad’s pledge to reduce single-use plastic usage by 80 percent not just in-flight, but across the entire organization by the end of 2022, the airline said in a statement.
Etihad said they “identified over 95 single-use plastic products used across aircraft cabins, most of which were replaced with eco-friendly alternatives including cups, cutlery, dishes, headset bags, cart seals and toothbrushes.” which were made of glass, aluminum, lightweight stainless steel, as well as recycled paper.
“Where suitable replacements could not be sourced, these items were not loaded,” the airline said.
“Inaugurating 2019 with the locally sourced biofuel flight and the operation of the longest single-use plastic free flight are a testament to our commitment to leading effective change towards sustainability,” chairman of Etihad, Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, said in a statement.
The airline claimed that it was committing itself to remove 20 percent of all single-use plastics on board by June 1 of this year and 80 percent across the entire organization by 2022. Etihad said in their statement they also planned to launch an initiative aimed at reducing plastic bottle use by 1.6 million per year.