An Open Letter to Airline Executives

Dear Airlines Executives,

In celebration of Earth Day 2019, I would like to bring a few questions to your attention. As air travel is for many people the easiest way to get from A to B and you cater to millions of passengers every year,  I wonder, have you thought about solving your waste problem?

In particular, I wish to address the issue of single-use plastic which is a large part of the meal and snack service offered during most flights. How many passengers do you cater to on a daily, monthly, yearly basis? Have you counted the plastic cups, containers, wrappers, stirrers, and cutlery you hand out?  As you may or may not know, nearly 90 percent of single-use plastics end up incinerated, or in our landfills, lakes, parks, and oceans. Once in the environment, they contaminate ecosystems, kill wildlife, and leach toxic chemicals.

Single-use plastic pollution cannot be good for tourism, can it? Beaches, on remote islands, in the Mediterranean or on the shores of Africa you fly your customers to, are quickly filling up with plastic, washed up by the sea. 

The Oceans are not willing to just suck it up, they seem to be spitting it right back out at us. What will you do when there a no more clean beaches to fly to? Will you only then help and clean up? Please don’t wait that long and take HiFly as an example – the “first Airline to perform a completely Single Use Plastic Free Flight”.

Dear Airline Executives, when you hear news on climate destruction or even just the weather forecast, do you sometimes wonder what it is that you can do to save the Whale and Albatross choking and suffocating on your plastic trash? Can you lend a helping hand to the Sea Turtle tortured by one of your plastic stirrers stuck up its nostril?

Do you, as decision makers, feel a sense of responsibility to the planet, to a healthy global environment? Do you feel there may be room for improvement?

Correct me if I’m mistaken but when I fly it seems to me that you are not in any way providing solutions to massive pollution caused by single-use plastic.

How about compostable dinnerware and packaging? Or, even better, reusable dinnerware. All you need to do is change suppliers and raise the budget by a margin. There are so many great alternatives to single-use plastic.

I get it, we need air travel and we will not stop flying your planes. I am culpable of flying myself, and not proud of the fact that I am utterly dependant on air travel. I do bring my own cup and mug, as well as my own lunch pack so that I can refuse the plastic.

However, things need to start changing on a large scale. And this is where we need you to act. Now, even just for the sake of your children’s and grandchildren’s futures, it is time you change your policies. Please reduce your contribution to single-use plastic pollution.

I have some suggestions for you. And, I promise, your passengers won’t even notice the difference. Even better, you will be able to market your brand so much more effectively. Join the (very well justified) ride on the panic wave of climate change and attract people who urgently want to make a difference.

Imagine: THE FIRST AIRLINE TO GO GREEN. You can persuade people like me to choose your airline because you act on solving the global single-use plastic waste problem. There is an ever growing number of customers you can attract by changing from single-use plastic to environmentally friendly alternatives.

Here are 10 suggestions for you

1.Compostable Dinnerware

2. Reusable Dinnerware, like in the old days

3.Cardboard boxes instead of a plastic container for meals

4.Bamboo containers instead of aluminum containers

5.Waxed fabric wrappers instead of plastic wrappers

6.Distribute drinks from bulk dispensers instead of plastic bottles and aluminum cans

7. Give discounts to passengers who bring and use their own cups, mugs, and bottles

8. Give out “green” travel bags (bamboo toothbrushes etc)

9. Collaborate with companies who offer eco-friendly products for your customers

10. Include movies, documentaries, and podcasts about climate change in your entertainment selection



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