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Air New Zealand takes flight on single-use plastic

Our Seas Our Future would like to applaud Air New Zealand for it’s recent pledge to abandon a number of single use plastics items used onboard flights. By doing so it is estimated that the airline will single handedly reduce the use of approximately 24 million disposable plastic items each year.

While this is an encouraging decision to further reduce single-use plastics from their operations, Air New Zealand has acknowledged that these are small steps given their scale. We would like to see other airlines and large businesses follow suit, however, caution must be given to ensure that the pledges to reduce single use plastic are not simply a case of green-washing.

Spokesperson Noel Jhinku said, “Our Seas Our Future believes that there is still plenty of room for improvement to take significantly larger steps to remove or replace single-use plastic items, considering that the current small steps are to be implemented over a 1 year time frame.”

Our Seas Our Future calls upon businesses such as Air New Zealand to make a continuous and active attempt to reduce their footprint in other areas and lead by industry example.

“An opportunity exists for Air New Zealand to be a leading organisation in transitioning away from single-use plastics, by focusing on as many types of single-use items as possible, rather than a select few items.”

References:

1. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/347/6223/768
2. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep14340
3. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1860/20171000
4. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-10813-0

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