How To Be Amazingly Brave About Wasteful Inflight Plastic

Who doesn’t enjoy the adventure of flight to locations that would otherwise take hours or weeks to visit? I am up there with many eager, Australian jet-setters, only too willing to escape the bonds of our large island. I love visiting far off lands and meeting people who live very different lives to my own.

When captured for several hours, in a small space, a pleasure of taking the plane to somewhere are the inflight meals and snacks. Some are great, some are “meh” and some international ones have been pretty interesting. One thing that’s not so great about them is the mountain of plastic items and wrapping that accompany them.

I will freely admit the visual appeal of individually plastic wrapped cheese’s and biscuits, snack bars and other vittles but surely there is another way to serve food aesthetically to the masses that doesn’t involve plastic or foil cunningly pressed between layers of plastic.

Some airlines while doing a great deal to cut emissions and coming up with recycling programs which is very commendable unfortunately don’t fully understand the longevity and continued production of microscopic plastic particles (Microparticles) that inflight meal, plastic waste continues to produce long after it’s passengers have finished with them. (I certainly never thought about it until deeply researching plastic waste and starting up Plastic Free Manifesto as a result. So, it’s a safe bet that they don’t know and you didn’t either. We are not going to get into blaming and shaming in this article but we can get amazingly brave and start doing effective things about it to change it.)

Portuguese airline “Hi-Fly” recently took the plunge and started steps towards a less wasteful airline inflight service. I can see in this picture bamboo utensils, plastic waxed cups and real “foil only” containers. Well done guys! All these items actually can be recycled or composted and don’t produce millions of tiny plastic microparticles. You have made that no more single use plastic goal happen! Now let’s bring it totally over the line and replace that multiple use plastic tray as well as they (while not single use) are subject to abrasion over time and release particles too.

Hi-Fly airlines bravely went against the trend and had begun steps to implement a more plastic free experience – photo credit: Hi-Fly

That’s a company doing something about it and being amazingly brave!

What can we do about it?

If all the CEO’s (Chief Executive Officers) of each airline company received a hand written or hand typed letter from you the reader, in a paper envelope with an old fashioned stamp personally addressed to them from yourself – they would be forced to listen.

It must be a polite personal letter – not an email and not angry. An old fashioned letter has impact and cannot be so easily dismissed. Your single polite letter asking for their airline to stop using plastic could make all the difference in the world and you would be doing something to change the current paradigms. It’s something easy, proactive and not overwhelming to do.

1. Choose an Airline.

2. Find the Airlines main office postal address.

3. Find the name of the CEO – with the internet or a phone all or two this is not to hard to achieve.

4. Handwrite or type a letter to the CEO politely requesting that their airline cease using plastic wrapped foods and plastic cups, bottles etc as they are producing plastic waste on a macro and microscopic level. The science is in on this and I am afraid it isn’t a bunch of rumours.

5. Take a digital copy of your letter and post it below or email it to me because I want to encourage you and others.

5. Put the letter in a paper envelope and write your name and address on the back of it, the CEO’s name and address on the front of it.

6. Get a stamp of value suitable for posting it to the address of the Airline CEO.

7. Walk to your post box and post.

8. Repeat on the next airline you choose.

Never underestimate your ability to implement change no matter who you are and where you live.

I look forward to hearing from you all being amazingly brave!

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