Alaska Airlines eliminates 54 million plastic items per year

Alaska Airlines has taken a big step towards eliminating single-use plastic on board flights.

Alaska’s switch should effectively remove 22 million plastic cups and 32 million plastic bottles per year from Alaska flights

The airline is swapping plastic bottles for cartons and plastic cups for reusable paper cups for water service.

The airline says that inflight water service is the most significant contributor of onboard plastic waste and the switch to more sustainable solutions will remove 22 million plastic cups and 32 million plastic bottles per year from Alaska flights.

Alaska became the first airline to offer guests Boxed Water cartons inflight in early 2021 – introducing the renewable packaged water alternative in First Class and on Alaska’s Horizon Air-operated flights. The trial was a success with guests and employees – twice as many passengers favoured Boxed Water compared to plastic bottled water in the airline’s polling.

Todd Traynor-Corey, managing director of guest products for Alaska Airlines said

Only 9% of plastic is recycled nationwide the rest ends up in landfills, burned or in our environment. Although we have an industry-leading recycling program, the reality is that we need to move to renewable options. Getting to this point hasn’t been easy. We investigated several options with our supply chain – and this year we finally found a product our guests love and a partner whose mission-driven values mirror our own.

Alaska Airlines believes that plastic-free water service is one of many new, planet-friendly initiatives passengers will notice on Alaska flights. And the airline claims it has eliminated hundreds of single-use waste items and pioneered fresh food for pre-order using industry-leading technology ‘to ensure that guests can get exactly what they want’.