From 1st January 2020, all Hi Fly’s flights are plastic free. This complements a commitment made in 2018 when the company became the first carrier in the world to operate a flight with no single-use plastic items on board.
A small step, as more than 100,000 flights take off each day
Every day, more than 100,000 flights take off. Yearly, airlines generate over six tons of cabin waste. Hi Fly, a wet-lease carrier with a fleet of 19 aircraft, approached this issue as “a necessary move for the future of the planet”, as the CEO, Paulo Mirpuri, stated.
To achieve this, the carrier replaced plastic with bamboo cutlery, cups, spoons and shakers. Also, the crews introduced compostable alternatives for the packaging of bedding, dishes, bottles and toothbrushes.
In its announcement, Hi Fly said:
“We pledged at the time of our historic Hi Fly test flights, without any single-use plastic items on board that we would make Hi Fly the world’s first ‘plastic-free’ airline within 12 months. We knew that if we worked hard to overcome the problems that it was 100% possible.”
Hi Fly prevents the use of up to 350 kg of plastic on each flight
In December 2018, Hi Fly operated the world’s first-ever plastic-free flight from Lisbon, Portugal to Natal, Brazil, on a Airbus A340. After that, the company organized three more plastic-free test flights and 12 journeys in which the use of single-use plastic was limited.
The wet-lease carrier stated that in every long haul flight, it saved up to 350 kg of single-use plastic. According to IATA, the average passenger generates 1.43 kg of cabin waste per flight. If nothing is done, it will double in the next 10 years.
Key facts about cabin waste:
— IATA (@IATA) December 12, 2019
Other airlines are taking different approaches to the same problem: last December, Air New Zealand introduced edible coffee cups, made from vanilla biscotti, that may substitute in the future the eight million cups of coffee the carrier yearly serves.
Alternative Airlines published a list of carriers that are eco-friendly and trying to reduce the amount of plastic waste used in their flights. Among the companies names are Ryanair, which announced that it will become completely plastic-free by 2023 and Emirates, a carrier that, in June 2019, eliminated the use of paper straws on board, among other initiatives.
Consistent initiatives from Hi Fly
The Portugal-based wet-lease carrier takes pride in its commitment. Over the years, it backed other initiatives to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic worldwide.
The fleet of the carrier, including its gigantic A380, is decorated with environmental messages and campaigns such as ‘Save the Coral Reefs’ and ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’.
Hi Fly will also participate in the 2021 edition of The Ocean Race. The airline aims to send a message about the extreme weather conditions and rising sea levels worldwide.
What do you think? Should airlines do more to stop the use of plastic on board? Let us know in the comments.