By Talia Avakian
April 22, 2019
Getty Images

Monday marks Earth Day, and in celebration of the annual event focused on environmental protection, Etihad Airways has announced an ultra-long-haul flight free from any single-use plastics.

The airline launched flight EY484 in an effort to raise awareness of plastic pollution, according to Etihad. The flight departed Abu Dhabi on April 21, landing in Brisbane, Australia, on Monday, April 22.

The airline replaced most of the 95 single-use plastic products used on its aircraft with eco-friendly alternatives, leaving out items that could not be replaced.

Items like cups, cutlery, dishes, headset bags, and toothbrushes were switched out with environmentally friendly varieties, like edible coffee cups made out of natural grain products from Cupffee. With these changes, airline representatives said they were able to keep 110 pounds of plastic out of a landfill.

The flight is part of Etihad's plan to reduce its single-use plastics by 80 percent by 2022. “There is a growing concern globally about the overuse of plastics which can take thousands of years to decompose," CEO of Etihad Aviation Group Tony Douglas said in the statement.

The changes extend beyond what passengers will see on flights, including reducing plastic water bottles in facility break rooms, and working with organizations like the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi on initiatives like a marine environment clean-up.

Etihad isn't the only airline taking steps to help the environment. Delta announced that it is offsetting the emissions of more than 300,000 passengers flying into and out of select cities for Earth Day.

Advertisement