Alaska Airlines plans to eliminate millions of plastic bottles per year
There's no question that commercial aviation continues to have a tremendous impact on the environment. Aircraft have a significant carbon footprint on their own, but passengers and crew members also create considerable amounts of waste on every flight, through the use of single-use plastics and other materials — much of which ends up in the trash.
The pandemic has resulted in airlines growing even more dependent on single-use materials, including bottles of water that are so small, many travelers will end up going through several on each flight.
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Fortunately, there's some change on the way. Alaska Airlines is now taking additional steps to reduce its plastic consumption, replacing water bottles with a more sustainable alternative from Boxed Water Is Better.
Beginning this month, Alaska Airlines will be replacing bottles with boxed water. The airline expects to remove 7,200,000 plastic bottles from the skies each year as a result.
As Alaska points out in its press release, airlines created roughly 6.7 million tons of cabin waste in 2018. "While we know our greatest impact is through carbon emissions, every decision we make, including how we source the products we serve on board, is important," said Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska's vice president of public affairs and sustainability.
More: Alaska Airlines adds another 6 California routes in West Coast build up
First-class flyers should already be receiving boxed water on some flights, with the new addition rolling out throughout the airline's cabins this summer. Unfortunately the airline's recycling effort has been on hold for the last year, due to COVID-19, but on May 19, Alaska will resume recycling cans and water bottles, too.