Air France has made a commitment to eliminate 1,300 tonnes of single-use plastics currently used on board its aircraft.

Earlier this week on World Environment Day (5 June), passengers on Air France flight 378 from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to Detroit were offered products made of bio-based materials instead of the usual single-use plastic items.

The flight was operated by the new Boeing 787-9, which uses 20 per cent less fuel and features a lower noise footprint than previous Dreamliner generations.

Qantas operated a similar initiative in May, using sustainable alternatives rather than plastic packaging and products during a flight from Sydney to Adelaide.

Following the flight, the airline said it would cut 210 million single-use plastic items such as cutlery, cups and drinks stirrers by the end of 2019 and replace them with sustainable alternatives on all services.

According to the carrier, 100 million plastic cups will be replaced with paper versions, products made from bio-based materials and packaging will take the place of 85 million pieces of plastic cutlery and wooden stirrers will be used instead of 25 million plastic sticks.

Since November 2018, Air France has replaced the plate and cutlery set used for the second meal on long-haul flights with its new “Bon Appetit” bag. It also stopped using plastic straws in 2015.

The reduction in plastic is part of the airline’s goal to reduce its overall impact on the environment, which includes cutting and offsetting carbon emissions and decrease its noise footprint. It has also pledged to reduce, recycle and reprocess more of its waste.

Since 2011, the carrier claims to have cut its CO2 emissions per passenger by 20 per cent.

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