Air Canada has announced its commitment to remove single-use plastics on aircraft and at its workplaces to reduce plastic waste.
As part of the commitment, the airline will replace plastic stirrers with wooden sticks in onboard drinks from mid-2019. The airline uses around 35 million stirrers annually.
The wooden sticks will be made from bamboo that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Air Canada environmental affairs director Teresa Ehman said: “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 $10bn fleet modernisation, we are making great strides in our ongoing sustainability programmes, notably improving fuel efficiency by 43% since 1990.
“Air Transport World Magazine recognised the effectiveness of our environmental programmes when it named Air Canada the 2018 Eco-Airline of the Year, citing our participation in the development and support of alternative fuels in Canada, and our innovative sustainability programmes.”
The company has also partnered with students at the University of Toronto, who are pursuing a master’s degree in sustainability management. This partnership will support Air Canada’s plastic reduction efforts by conducting research and guiding key decisions at various stages of the supply chain.
The students will assist Air Canada to produce alternatives to plastic items onboard its flights.
In addition, the airline has committed to reducing waste entering landfill from its offices, facilities and Maple Leaf Lounges by 20%, as well as recycling 50% of approved items onboard its flights.