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.
We couldn't be prouder of being the first airline to perform a completely Single Use Plastic Free Flight. The first step to our ultimate goal to turn all our flights completely Single Use #PlasticFree by the end of 2019. #TurntheTideonPlastic #A340 #9HSUN pic.twitter.com/sTLl6eDCBk— Hi Fly (@hifly_airline) December 27, 2018
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.
“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.
Appreciate your forward-thinking approach. Of course, some will seek to find flaw, but at least you’re trying. Thanks!— Pacific Steve (@ShootDaDeuce) December 27, 2018
Wonderful news!! Thank you for being environmentally conscious!— Michelle Nguyen (@_blaqjack) December 27, 2018
Well done folks, no one has any excuse now!— Messgorough (@Messgorough) December 27, 2018
Fantastic example shown by @hifly_airline , hopefully this is just the start & the larger airlines will get on board.— Andy Hogan (@BlightyBeyond) December 27, 2018
Imagine how many flights there are a day. multiplied by the amount of single use plastic they throw away on average each flight.... that’s a massive amount of waste.— 🏴☠️jackie🏴☠️ (@jackflindsey) December 27, 2018
Love to see more of this. Passengers like me will embrace and be very happy to see this as a standard across air travel.— Sam Smith (@realsamsm1th) December 27, 2018
Hi Fly isn’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.
The entire list above you has proven that— Cory Bowles (@corybowles) December 27, 2018
His button is plastic pic.twitter.com/LaCU9lYAng— JerryAscione (@JerryAscione) December 27, 2018
Plastic free is a good step but until it's dishes that are washed and reused like at a restaurant, it really does no help as paper still hurts the environment massively. And with how packed the garbage dumps are things that should sometimes don't biodegrade.— Wolf (@_WolfSpirit) December 27, 2018
That’s the point— HGraceful (@HGracefulArt) December 27, 2018
Although I like your idea...— william roberts (@bikerbill40) December 27, 2018
Worrying about the plastic use on an airline is like being worried about sellotape usage on all the wrapping paper this Christmas
Makes you wonder if that offsets the pollution from the burned jet fuel. 🤔— Curtis (@suseuser) December 27, 2018
It's still better than single use plastics if we're being honest...— Jackson (@whit_jack1) December 27, 2018
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.