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RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

who launched their first passenger flight without any single-use plastic items on board. Cups, spoons, salt-and-pepper shakers, sick bags, drinks bottles and toothbrushes were replaced with bamboo cutlery, an array of paper packaging and compostable containers.

“The test flight prevented around 350kg of single-use, virtually indestructible plastics from poisoning our environment,” said Hi Fly president Paulo Mirpuri, who is aiming to roll this exciting policy out across the fleet within the next 12 months. “Last year, commercial aircraft carried nearly four billion passengers. This number is expected to double again in less than 20 years. So, the potential to make a difference here is clearly enormous.”

Air New Zealand closely followed, announcing the removal of fourteen single-use plastic products from its flights over the next year, and even Ryanair has pledged to become plastic free by 2023. As Air New Zealand’s head of sustainability, Lisa Daniell, explains: “If we were to line up all of the plastic stirrers we are replacing across our network, they would span the length of Cape Reinga to Taupo. That’s 700km of flimsy plastic spoons!”

On the ground It’s not just about supporting forward-thinking airlines. You can apply this ethos to your whole trip, with tour operators now catering for this kind of experience too. ResponsibleTravel.com has now created a trip category with ‘zero tolerance’ for single-use plastics.

May the forks be with you Bringing your own cutlery will make a huge dent in reducing plastics pollution

“It’s challenging for trips that might, for example, stay in five different accommodations, visit ten restaurants and some visitor attractions,” admits CEO and founder Justin Francis. He explains the earliest successes have been with ‘single centre’ trips, where the operator has more control, which is something to think about when planning a trip. We can also support those trying to make reusable options more affordable. Wild Frontiers founder Jonny Bealby says: “We ask everyone to buy our heavily subsidised Water-to-Go self-filtering water bottles and also work with our partners on the ground to provide water in large 20-litre containers, from which you can fill up your bottle. So far, we’ve sold over 600 of the Water-to-Go bottles,

wanderlust.co.uk June 2019 93

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