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Air New Zealand to get rid of single use plastic

Must See 17/10/2018

Air New Zealand has announced it's substituting a further 14 single-use plastic products from its business over the next 12 months, taking the total amount of plastic waste reduction at the airline to more than 24 million items per year.

As the outside of aircraft continue to become more and more plastic, it's the plastic that's being loaded on board that airlines around the world are looking to eliminate. 

Air NZ has committed to eliminating five single use products from within its domestic flights, including water and coffee cups, lids, cheese plates and plastic bags.

The airline has already removed straws, stir sticks, eye mask wrappers and plastic toothbrushes from on board aircraft and inside their lounges. In just 12 months, that will reduce the airline's waste by  260,000 plastic toothbrushes, 3000 straws, 7.1 million stirrers and 260,000 eye mask wrappers

The numbers - items of waste avoided each year:

  • 7.4 million plastic cups
  • 7.3 million cafe cups and lids
  • 1.5 million plastic bags
  • 550,000 cheese trays
  • 45,000 atlas lids
  • 7.1 million stirrers
  • 260,000 toothbrushes
  • 260,000 eye mask wrappers
  • 3000 straws

Earlier this year, Virgin Australia announced a similar move by removing plastic straws and stirrers from their operations, eliminating 260,000 plastic straws and 7.5 million plastic stirrers from the company's waste.

Air New Zealand's Head of Sustainability Lisa Daniell put the waste into context by describing its size.

"If we were to line up all of the plastic stirrers we are replacing across our network, they would span the length of Cape Reinga to Taupo," Ms Daniell said. 

That's a distance of almost 700 kilometres.