Etihad Airways will operate a flight completely free of single-use plastic to raise awareness on plastic pollution, making them the first airline in the world to do so.
The EY 484 will depart from Abu Dhabi on April 21 and arrive in Brisbane April 22 which is Earth Day.
The UAE National Airline aims to reduce single-use plastic by 80 per cent, not just on their planes but across the entire organisation by 2022.
Last year, the United Nations called for global action to beat plastic pollution, stating that 400 million tonnes of plastics are produced every year, 63 per cent of which are intended for single-use.
Governments around the world are starting to ban single-use plastics – something the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) advocates.
Buzz, Etihad’s current supplier of amenity products, are supporters of the project and have collaborated with the airline to provide sustainable amenity kits, eco-plush toys and award-winning eco-thread blankets. Buzz produced the blankets out of recycled plastic bottles.
Etihad worked with suppliers to ensure products were not wrapped in single-use plastics.
For others, more innovative products had to be sourced including Cupffee’s, edible coffee cups, made entirely out of natural grain products.
Etihad 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.
Once removed from this flight, Etihad prevented over 50 kilograms of plastics from being landfilled. Where suitable replacements could not be sourced, these items were not loaded.
As a result of planning the Earth Day flight, Etihad additionally committed to remove up to 20 per cent of the single-use plastic items on board by 1 June 2019.
By the end of this year, Etihad will have removed 100 tonnes of single-use plastics from its inflight service.