Air NZ switches to sustainable serviceware to save 28 million single-use plastics a year

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

In a move to reduce plastic use and carbon emissions, Air New Zealand has conducted trials to introduce sustainable serviceware in its international economy cabins. 

By making this switch, the airline believes 28 million single-use plastic could be removed from inflight every year.

“We’re on a journey to reduce the impact of servicewear on the environment by moving away from single-use plastics and trialling more sustainable servicewear,” said Leanne Geraghty, chief customer and sales officer, Air New Zealand

The Auckland-based airline recently trialled casserole dishes made from sugarcane remains, birchwood cutlery, and re-usable rotatable plastic. The airline says it will also trial bamboo cutlery to see “which works best”.

According to Geraghty, the sustainable serviceware design used by the airline today is already a decade old, and the choice to re-use certain products follows its previous efforts to recycle unused in-flight products such as bottled water, cookies, and tea.

“With an acute awareness of the impacts of plastic pollution, we’re delivering serviceware that is designed for the culinary experiences of the future and reduces vast amounts of single-use plastic,” she added.

Airlines across the globe have also begun transitioning to eco-friendlier options – from using cleaner aviation fuel to recycling in-flight food to fertiliser.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.