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Etihad to make world’s first plastic-free, ultra-long-haul flight between Abu Dhabi and Australia


Landing in Brisbane on Earth Day, the flight will have no single-use plastics on-board, with replacements including edible coffee cups and blankets made out of recycled bottles

Etihad crew get ready to fly the world's first ultra-long-haul, plastic-free flight to Brisbane. Courtesy Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways is to take to the skies plastic-free next week, as it makes the world's first long-haul flight without single-use plastics.

The flight from Abu Dhabi to Brisbane is the first stage in Etihad's plan to reduce its reliance on single-use plastic by 80 per cent by the end of 2022. The flight coincides with Earth Day on Monday, April 22.

Many of the plastic items on-board will be substituted with more eco-friendly alternatives. These include cutlery, cups and plates, toothbrushes and the bags holding reusable headsets

The flight will also feature eco-plush toys and sustainable amenity kits from in-flight product company Buzz, as well as eco-thread blankets created from recycled plastic bottles. Edible coffee cups from Cupffee will also be used.

The total weight of single-use plastic removed from the flight is more than 50 kilograms.

Planning for the plastic-free flight has been under way for some time. The airline has worked with suppliers to ensure products are not delivered wrapped in single-use plastic. Where suitable replacements could not be found, the items have been removed.

Up to 20 per cent of single-use plastic items on all Etihad flights will be removed by June 1, 2019. By the end of the year, more than 100 tonnes of single-use plastic will have been removed from the airline's in-flight service.

“We discovered we could remove 27 million single-use plastic lids from our in-flight service a year," said Tony Douglas, executive officer at Etihad Aviation Group said. "As a leading airline, it’s our responsibility to act on this, to challenge industry standards and work with suppliers who provide lower impact alternatives.”

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