Back in January, Air Canada pledged to cut back on its single-use plastics, by replacing its plastic stir sticks with wood ones on all flights, starting summer 2019.
In June, the airline made good on its promise, and stopped handing out the small plastic sticks with coffees and teas on board, representing an effort that will save more than 35 million plastic stir sticks annually: if laid out, that's enough to link Halifax to Vancouver!
"The plastic stir sticks were replaced with FSC certified wood, which is an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world's forests, across our network," an Air Canada media spokesperson confirmed to PAX. "We are further reducing single-use plastics onboard with the removal of the plastic bag around the amenity kits beginning in the fall, and we’re also continuing to evaluate the opportunity to implement further reductions."
The new eco-friendly initiative extends across all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express fleets, PAX has learned.
Less is more
With sustainability at the core of its operations, Air Canada has a series of initiatives in place that aim to do good for the planet, while transporting people across the world. Air Canada's "Leaveless" campaign, for example, aims to minimize the airline's environmental footprint by incorporating environmentally-friendly incentives into its corporate business decisions, including designing lighter planes, flying shorter routes, sourcing alternative fuels, and expanding recycling programs.
Reducing unnecessary waste that ends up in the lands and seas that Air Canada flies to, such as single-use plastics, is a key focus for the airline.
Looking out to 2020, Air Canada has set environmental targets to reduce waste sent to landfills from offices, facilities and Maple Leaf Lounges by 20 per cent, or just under the equivalent weight of two empty Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, and to recycle 50 per cent of approved items onboard.
And for those who are worried that using wood is just as bad as plastic (pandas eat bamboo, afterall), Air Canada is already one step ahead—the airline's stir stick replacement by FSC is all sustainably-sourced, which assures products come from responsible sources so that forests remain thriving environments for generations to come.
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