Air Canada has unveiled a plan to reduce
single-use plastics onboard aircraft and in its workplaces.
Starting in summer 2019, Air Canada will replace
plastic with bamboo stirrers in drinks served on all flights, a
move that will save 35 million plastic stirrers annually – enough
if laid end-to-end to join Halifax and Vancouver.
"Air Canada has made sustainability central to
its decision-making and business processes, including acting
responsibly with respect to the environment. Through seemingly
small measures such as eliminating plastic stir sticks, to major
investments such as our $10 billion fleet modernization, we are
making great strides in our ongoing sustainability programs,
notably improving fuel efficiency by 43% since 1990," said
Teresa Ehman, Director of Environmental Affairs at Air Canada.
Air Canada's stir
stick replacement will be made of bamboo and certified by the
Forest Stewardship Council, which assures products come from
responsible sources so that forests remain thriving environments
for generations to come.
out to 2020, Air Canada has set environmental targets to reduce
waste sent to landfills from offices, facilities and Maple Leaf
Lounges by 20%, or just under the equivalent weight of two
empty Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, and to recycle 50% of
approved items onboard.
Waste reduction at Air Canada is
about more than recycling paper and aluminum cans. For example, since 2016 Air Canada has partnered with Partners
in Project Green to distribute lightly used duvets to social
service agencies that assist people in need and other duvets are
donated to local kennels. To date over 13,000 duvets have been
donated, equivalent to over 20,000 kilograms of material.
Additionally, when Air Canada announced new uniforms in 2017,
creative solutions to reduce landfill waste were identified:
- Employee uniform pieces were donated to Brands for Canada
who removed all branding and offered the items to people
re-entering the workforce, without the means to purchase new
clothes, and hoping to begin new careers.
- Uniforms shredded
and repurposed into stuffing for punching bags that were donated
to community centres, converted into alternative items such as
automotive stuffing or incinerated to generate energy.
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