Delta steps up replacement of single-use plastics

25 Oct 2018 by Mark Caswell
164-seat Boeing 757-200ER

Delta has announced plans to phase out the use of single-use plastics on its aircraft and in executive lounges, in a bid to eliminate 300,000 pounds of annual plastic waste.

Earlier this year the carrier removed plastic wrap from its international Main Cabin cutlery (instead wrapping the cutlery in napkins), and is following this up by eliminating “unnecessary plastic wrapping” from Delta One amenity kits.

Inflight plastic stirrers and straws are also set to be replaced by bamboo and birchwood alternatives next year, as they have already been in Delta Sky Clubs, and lounges have also “started moving toward compostable alternatives for service ware”.

Compostable straws will now only be offered “on request”.

Infographic detailing Delta's plans to replace single-use plastics

Delta says it has formed a Youth Advisory Panel “to help guide the airline’s efforts to minimize the use of single-use plastics and support other sustainability initiatives”, with initial members including Carter and Olivia Ries, founders of One More Generaton, and Shelby O’Neill, founder of Jr Ocean Guardians.

Earlier this year fellow US carrier American Airlines announced plans to replaces straws with straw and bamboo alternatives, and US hospitality group Marriott International recently announced plans to eliminate disposable plastic straws and stirrers at all 30 of its global brands by 2019.

This week the European Parliament voted to ban a range of single-use plastic items across the union, with the aim of the ban taking effect by 2021.

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