AS the world gradually moves into a time where introducing bans or levies on single-use plastics have become a norm, more and more companies and brands are committing to more eco-friendly and sustainable practices.
Asian countries are collectively initiating a clean-up effort to reduce unnecessary waste by banning or regulating the use of plastic bags. Taiwan has already started banning single-use plastic drinking straws in several phases, starting with the food and beverage industry. This is coming not long after Taiwan introduced a recycling programme and charges for plastic bags.
And Taiwan is not the only Asian country that has embraced the anti-plastic movement.
In 2008, prior to the Olympic Games, China placed a ban on all thin plastic bags and asked retailers to charge a tax on thicker bags, which led to a two-thirds reduction in plastic bag use.
The idyllic resorts on the Thai paradise island of Phuket have also begun looking at ways to shrink their plastics footprint by switching out plastic water bottles for reusable glass bottles and phasing out or stopping using plastic water bottles and plastic drinking straws.
This was echoed by Hanoi’s Paradise Cruises in Vietnam, as it had removed plastic straws from all seven of its luxury cruise ships, which will save up to 36,000 straws per year. New Zealand, too, is also stepping up to help defeat the environmental threat. The sovereign island country has pledged to outlaw single-use plastic shopping bags.
And it is not these destinations alone that have ramped up efforts to combat the environmental threat. Dubai-based Emirates Airlines just rolled out network-wide changes to ensure more eco-friendly practices and long-term sustainability initiatives.
Recently, the airline introduces paper straws onboard and it has solid plans to replace single-use plastic items with more sustainable options. In addition to plastic straws, plastic swizzle sticks and stirrers will also be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives by the end of the year.
To add on, plastic bags used for inflight retail purchases on Emirates Airlines will be replaced with paper bags. These initiatives will remove an estimated 81.7 million single-use plastic items from the Dubai landfills each year.
As part of the trials conducted on Emirates Airlines’ flights, cabin crew members have begun segregating plastic bottles to be recycled in Dubai. They have also consistently given feedback and suggestions on other environmentally-friendly ideas.
A full review of the plastics on board has been conducted and over the next few months.
This is not the first time that Emirates Airlines have launched sustainability efforts. In 2017, Emirates introduced ecoTHREAD blankets made from recycled plastic bottles for its economy class cabin. Each blanket is made from 28 recycled plastic bottles.