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Air France to eliminate 210m single-use plastics on its flights in 7 months

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The end is near for plastic cutlery, cups, stirrers and other single-use plastic items currently used in all Air France flights globally.

The Dutch carrier, which is a SkyTeam Airline Alliance member, has kicked off a global campaign to eliminate 1,300 tons of single-use plastic by end year. In this way, Air France will eliminate 210 million single-use plastic items by the end of 2019.

This shift in the company’s policies was announced on this year’s World Environment Day. Passengers on flight AF378 from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to Detroit were offered products made of bio-based materials instead of single-use plastic items usually distributed on board.

This campaign represents the following in terms of benefits to the environment

  • 100 million plastic cups replaced with paper cups;
  • 85 million plastic cutlery items replaced with products made from bio-based materials and packaging;

25 million plastic stirring sticks replaced with wooden stirrers;

Since November 2018, Air France has replaced the plate and cutlery set used for the second meal on long-haul flights with a “BON APPETIT” bag. This initiative builds on the airline’s track record of taking concrete action to protect the environment. As an example, from 2015, Air France stopped supplying plastic drinking straws on board, representing a reduction of 1.3 million plastic.

Air France’s stand on single-use plastics comes at a time when countries and multinationals are making bold global commitments. Kenya, where Air France operates a route between Nairobi and Paris, is seen as leading voice in protecting environmental degradation caused by single-use plastics. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, while on an official visit to Vancouver this June, announced a ban on single-use plastics in beaches, national parks, forests and conservation areas.

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