As of November 4th, Alaska Airlines has replaced plastic water bottles and plastic water cups on board with Boxed Water. The action will remove 1.8 million pounds of single-use plastics, the equivalent to the weight of 18 Boeing 737 aircraft. The announcement to eliminate the biggest sources of plastic waste on their flights, namely plastic water bottles and plastic water cups, was made on November 3rd.
Alaska Airlines is replacing plastic water bottles on board with Boxed Water cartons. Boxed Water packages purified water in 100% recyclable cartons made from plant materials, and guests surveyed report that they prefer Boxed Water over plastic-bottled water at a rate of 2-to-1.
We know single-use plastics have a big impact on the ecosystem and inevitably some will end up in a landfill or an ocean. To reduce our waste footprint, and ultimately our carbon footprint, we need to actually eliminate single-use plastic. And the biggest offender is plastic water bottlesTodd Traynor-Corey, managing director of guest products
In the main cabin, flight attendants will pour water into recyclable paper cups versus plastic — removing more than 22 million disposable plastic cups from the airplanes. Alaska Airlines will also be upgrading the fleet to more efficient 737-9 aircraft and continuing to improve the efficiency of their operation. They have charted an ambitious course to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, including through the use of sustainable aviation jet fuels, or SAF.
The airlines continues to be an industry leader in reducing inflight plastic waste. Horizon Air employees started recycling inflight paper, plastic and glass waste in the 1980s, and over the last decade Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air flight attendants have captured recyclables that would have otherwise gone to landfills.
We live and fly in some of the most beautiful places on earth, but the health of these habitats require active stewardship of our impact, and educing plastic waste is a key step.Diana Birkett Rakow, vice president of public affairs and sustainability.
In 2018, the airline was the first one in the US to eliminate plastic straws and stir sticks from their flights and lounges, and they have integrated compostable packaging and cutlery into the inflight service. This year, they pioneered a pre-order system for fresh food so guests get the items they want on flights, minimizing the waste of both food and packaging. The airline also encourages guests to bring their own reusable water bottles and #FillBeforeYouFly.
In early 2019, the airline’s food and beverage team started researching alternatives to plastic water bottles evaluating packaging for sustainability and inflight durability, as well as the taste of the water inside. Members of Alaska’s Green Team Employee Resource Group also helped weigh the impacts and costs of plastic, paper, aluminum and other recyclable materials.
Boxed Water stood out because it is renewable. The packaging is made of 92% plant material sourced from sustainably harvested trees. Even the resealable cap comes from leftover materials in the paper-making process. The packaging can also be recycled in most of the airline’s hubs.