Alaska Airlines, which switched from plastic to compostable straws three years ago, is planning to become the most fuel-efficient U.S. airline within four years and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. File Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA
Nov. 3 (UPI) -- In a bid to improve its impact on the environment, Alaska Airlines announced on Wednesday that it's doing away with plastic bottles and plastic cups on all flights -- a move it says will save almost 2 million pounds of waste per year.
Starting on Thursday, the carrier will begin a partnership with Boxed Water Is Better to provide water from cartons that are 92% plant-based in recyclable paper cups.
"As a West Coast-based airline, we fly to some of the most beautiful places on earth. Protecting these habitats is critical for our collective future, and reducing plastic waste is a key step," Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines vice president of public affairs and sustainability, said in a statement.
Rakow called the move away from plastic the airline's "most impactful plastic-reduction initiative yet."
Alaska Airlines, which switched from plastic to compostable straws three years ago, is aiming to become the most fuel-efficient U.S. airline within four years and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
The carrier said it created an environmental team that spent months researching alternatives to plastic, and it expects the move will eliminate 54 million plastic cups and bottles each year.
"Only 9% of plastic is recycled nationwide," noted Todd Traynor-Corey, managing director of guest products for Alaska Airlines. "The rest ends up in landfills, burned or in our environment."
Pedestrians take photos of and enjoy the snow covered trees in Central Park after a winter storm
in New York City on January 7, 2022. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo