Emirates has announced plans to remove around 82 million single-use plastic items from its aircraft, replacing items including inflight retail purchase bags with paper alternatives.

The carrier began introducing paper straws at the start of this month, and said that its flights “will soon be plastic straw-free”.

Emirates said that plastic swizzle sticks and stirrers will also be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives by the end of the year, and from August inflight retail purchase bags will also be removed in favour of paper bags.

In addition the airline now separates large plastic bottles used on board to be recycled, in a move which it says diverts an estimated 150,000 plastic bottles from landfill in Dubai each month.

Emirates says that “A full review of the plastics on board has been conducted and over the next few months, the airline will gradually implement other initiatives to tackle plastic waste”.

In 2017 the carrier introduced sustainable blankets in economy, made from recycled plastic bottles.

At the time Emirates said that the move would save 88 million plastic bottles from landfills by the end of 2019.

Earlier this year rival Gulf carrier Etihad made a similar pledge to reduce single-use plastics across the organisation by 80 per cent by the end of 2022.