Flying needs to improve. How you can reduce your plastic use when taking a flight.
Updated: Apr 13
It's equal measure mind blowing and incredible that innovation has allowed us to board big shiny metal birds and fly across the planet. Invention and entreprenship has meant we can go anywhere in the world, quickly and safely. Of course we cannot ignore the HUGE environmental impact in general of flying. But, for those times we do need to board a flight, the waste is a problem.
Considering this unbelievable innovation, I am not convinced that it's acceptable that it's hard to create eco alternatives for planes.
(Again, don't forget, the technology to fly us through the sky!)....
Mostly aeroplane equipment is single use. Forks, spoons, cups.
Where does this waste go? Is it dumped in very delicate areas?
SURELY the innovation that lead us to be able to fly can be fined tuned to create a less wasteful system thats safe and hygienic. I understand that it's also important to consider the weight and fuel use, because it would be silly to reduce single use but double carbon emissions.
But this is a call for more information, for better understanding and for improvements within the engineering of flying to reduce waste.
If you too are worried about your waste when flying, and where your on flight waste is ending up, here's some tips to reduce it:
1) If you have the choice, don't purchase in flight food. It's gross and comes with everything in single use containers. Bring your own snacks in your reusables (that will come in handy on your trip anyway) and ask for your drinks in your keep cup, most airlines are more than happy to give you your drink in your cup. If you are not given a choice about in-flight meals, especially with long haul, don't sweat it. It's important to eat and some long haul airlines prevent you bringing in your own food.
2) Meal prep your snacks! Bring on board your own snacks, just make sure you eat them before you land to reduce the chance of bringing in food you are not allowed, or at least check before you pack.
3) Bring your own headphones! If you don't open your hygienically cleaned and plastic wrapped they are reused for the next guest. An EASY lightweight save and probably something you'll take travelling anyway!
4) Bring a sarong and vito the blanket.
5) Bring your reusable bottle. It's perfectly safe to take your bottle through security, just make sure it's empty when it goes through. Then you're free to fill up and beat that travel bloat too!
6) Check Reviews. Some airlines are better than others, have a look at reviews or research the airline to see if they use reusable cutlery as standard.
Again, we cannot ignore the impact of flying. If you can take public transport, where you have more control over your plastic use anyway. But if you don't have the privilege of choosing your travel mode, do your best to reduce that impact.