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The World’s First Single-Use Plastic-Free Flight Took To The Skies—And It’s Just The Beginning

Twitter: @hifly_airline

Portuguese airline Hi Fly recently announced the first in a series of test flights for their new single-use plastic-free initiative. The flight left Lisbon, Portugal for Natal, Brazil without any wasteful plastic items on board.

They tweeted their plan to convert all their flights by the end of next year.

Hi Fly President Paulo Mirpuri told CTVNews:

“This historic Hi Fly flight underlines our commitment to making Hi Fly the world’s first plastics-free airline within 12 months.”

The airline has replaced dishes, utensils, and even sick bags with alternatives that can be easily composted or reused. The change is being tested on four flights before expanding to more. If all goes well, more than 700 pounds of single-use plastic will be eliminated from these flights.

Mirpuri said:

“The test flights will help us trial the many substitute items we have developed and introduced, in a real-world environment,”

Many feel this is a good start in trying to tackle plastic pollution.

Hi Fly isnÂ’t the only airline looking to reduce its environmental impact. Since airplanes often use massive amounts of greenhouse gas-producing, non-renewable fossil fuels, they need to find solutions to offset their damage to the ecosystem.

Irish airline Ryanair has promised to reduce and eventually eliminate non-recyclable plastics by 2023 and allows customers to pay for a carbon offset when they make reservations. Air New Zealand has also made the pledge to eliminate single-use plastic from their flights.

However, not everyone agrees this is the right way to try and fix things.

Hi Fly announced their intention to go plastic-free by 2019 back in March of this year. They had already eliminated single-use plastic from their offices, even going as far as to install water fountains and giving employees reusable water bottles to refill in place of disposable plastic water bottles.

“We can no longer ignore the impact plastic contamination has on ecosystems, as well as on human health. We know, too, from the feedback we have received from client airlines and passengers, that it’s the right thing for the airline to be doing.”

At the very least, it’s a good first step in addressing plastic waste.

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Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.