Alaska Airlines announced today that it has completed the move away from the use of plastic cups used for inflight beverages, continuing its initiative to remove the biggest sources of plastic waste on its flights. The airline said that the move will eliminate more than 55 plastic cups annually, replacing them with more environmentally sustainable alternatives.
With today’s announcement, Alaska becomes the first U.S. airline to eliminate on-board plastic cups.
Todd Traynor-Corey, managing director of guest products for Alaska Airlines, said:
“Doing the right thing is one of our core values and nothing is more right and urgent than protecting the beautiful places that we connect our guests to through flight. This is another important step in our journey to eliminate single-use plastics and an important step for the industry to see how product innovations can chart a course to a greener future.”
The achievement follows the company’s announcement in November 2021 of initiatives to eliminate plastic water bottles and cups from its flights, replacing the bottles with Boxed Water cartons, and moving to recyclable paper cups for water. At the time, the airline said that plastic cups would continue to be necessary inflight for soda and alcoholic beverages, which could leak through paper cups, and that it was exploring sustainable alternatives for these.
By eliminating the plastic water bottles and cups, the company said that it will avoid 2.2 million pounds of plastic from landfills every year.
The airline said it will continue to pursue product innovations and supply chain advancements to achieve its goal of replacing the top five waste-producing items from onboard service by 2025.
Now, all inflight beverages on Alaska flights are served in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper cups or reusable glassware for First Class services.
“Eliminating plastics is a team effort. It requires broad collaboration with our supply chain partners and inflight team to make new products and practices that move us toward a future with less plastic. That progress only happens with a deeply shared commitment to care for our environment.”