Many commercial businesses are taking steps to reduce the amount of single-use plastics they use. For example, Starbucks is now offering your iced morning fuel sans plastic straw if you ask for a strawless lid, and Marriott International is preparing to remove plastic straws and stirrers from all 6,500 hotels by 2019. While people around the world are slowly making great strides to sip strawlessly, American Airlines is spreading environmentally friendly methods above the horizon.
As of July 2018, American Airlines will be replacing their plastic straws and drink stirrers with biodegradable alternatives! American Airlines is the world’s biggest airline, and by replacing plastic utensils and drinkware with bamboo and wood, they will be eliminating over 71,000 pounds of plastic per year. Jill Surdek, Vice President of flight services, stated “We’re cognizant of our impact on the environment and we remain committed to doing our part to sustain the planet for future generations of travelers.” We can expect to see a fully implemented plan in both American Airline lounges and airplanes by November 2018.
Following American Airline’s lead is Alaska Airlines, the fifth largest US airline. Starting this summer, Alaska Airlines is planning on phasing out plastic straws and toothpicks and replacing them with “sustainable, marine-friendly alternatives.”
This isn’t the first environmentally sustainable move that American Airlines has made. Ecofriendly, inflight changes date back to 1989, when American Airlines established the industry’s first onboard recycling program. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of aluminum were and are recycled per year. Proceeds are donated to The Wings Foundation, a non-profit organization in which active American Airlines flight attendants assist fellow flight attendants in times of need. Additionally, beginning in 2015, American began replacing their Styrofoam cups with paper cups.
The movement to end the use of single-use plastics is gaining momentum among major cities, businesses, and even countries, hopefully creating a greater, unified force in the fight against pollution and the protection of marine organisms. Become part of the movement by seeing what you can do to reduce your plastic waste.
Have you noticed a change in plastic use in any other places you have visited? If so, be sure to let us know so we can spread the positive news!