When it comes to airline meals, they are often a plastic extravaganza. Each individual item on your tray comes packaged in it, the food sits in trays made out of it and even your cutlery is formed from it.
Plastic is the scourge of the 21st century and what it is doing to the oceans is terrible. It breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastic, where it is then ingested by fish and other sea life.
The EU Single-Use Plastics Ban
By a vote of 571-53, the European Parliament has voted to ban single-use cutlery, plates, cotton buds, straws and stirrers from 2021. These make up around 70% of marine litter, according to an article published by BBC News.
Plastic products for which no alternative exists (really?) will have to be reduced by at least 25% by 2025. This includes sandwich boxes, burger boxes and food containers for fruit, vegetables and desserts. Bottle recycling is targeted for 90% also.
What About The Airlines Plastic?
Economy class passengers often receive a tray full of plastic packaged items. From the cutlery to various wrapping for the biscuits, salad containers – you name it and you’re likely to see it.
This ban should mean that people travelling from Europe will see a change to the service. Perhaps wooden alternatives will be used, as these are lighter than their stainless steel counterparts.
Personally, I think some research should go into some other material that can be washed and used again. Getting away from single-use items as much as possible would be great.
Hundreds of plastic lids are used on flights to cover salads and desserts. Maybe it’s time to plate from the trolley again and save all of this waste. Either way, there will be changes and hopefully they will be for the better.
Movement towards a world with as little plastic as possible is a good thing. That being said, there are other places in the world where pollution is a bigger problem than in Europe. The real challenge is getting modern waste disposal methods and standards applied globally.
What do you think of the EU ban? Will it make airlines bring back the metal cutlery down the back? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image via London Heathrow Airport.