WATCH: The plastic revolution has taken to the skies with first single-use plastic free flight

2019-01-04 15:00
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(Photo: Supplied, Hi Fly)

In a global first for the airline industry, and a defining moment for the environmental sustainability movement globally, Portuguese carrier Hi Fly made the first-ever passenger flight with not a single-use plastic item on board.

SEE: MSC Cruises' last straw for single-use plastic on their global fleet

The ‘plastics-free’ trial, involving four flights by Hi Fly’s wide-body Airbus A340, 9H-SUN, jetted off into the history books on 26 December, when it took off from Lisbon on its way to Natal in Brazil. Over 700 passengers took part in the trial.

“This historic Hi Fly flight, without any single-use plastic items on board, underlines our commitment to making Hi Fly the world’s first ‘plastics-free’ airline within 12 months," said Hi Fly president Paulo Mirpuri ahead of the flight.

"The test flights will prevent around 350 KG of single-use, virtually indestructible plastics from poisoning our environment.”

“Over 100 000 flights take off each day around the world and, last year, commercial aircraft carried nearly four billion passengers. This number is expected to double again in less than 20 years. So, the potential to make a difference here is clearly enormous,” added Mirpuri.

Among the scores of single-use plastic items that have been replaced are: cups, spoons, salt and pepper shakers, sick bags, packaging for bedding, dishes, individual butter pots, soft drink bottles and toothbrushes. Among the many innovations presented to passengers on the flight were bamboo cutlery, an array of paper packaging, and containers that, once used, are readily compostable.

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