The change will represent about 1.8 million pounds of single-use plastics eliminated from flights over the next year, the airline said.

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Alaska Airlines is eliminating all plastic water bottles on board its aircraft and replacing them with boxed water, the carrier shared with Travel + Leisure on Wednesday.

The airline said water service is one of the biggest contributors to plastic waste and the swap will eliminate about 32 million plastic bottles each year. The effort is an expansion of the airline's earlier introduction in May of boxed water in first class and on select aircraft.

In addition to serving the Boxed Water Is Better brand to customers, which is sealed with a plant-based cap, Alaska will switch to recyclable paper cups for water service. Combined, the switches will represent about 1.8 million pounds of single-use plastics eliminated from flights over the next year, which the airline said is equivalent to the weight of 18 Boeing 737s.

A flight attendant pouring a boxed water on an Alaska Airlines flight
Credit: Ingrid Barrenrine/Courtesy of Alaska Airlines

"As a West Coast-based airline, we fly to some of the most beautiful places on earth. Protecting these habitats is critical for our collective future, and reducing plastic waste is a key step," Diana Birkett Rakow, the vice president of public affairs and sustainability for Alaska Airlines, said in a statement shared with T+L. "We're proud to partner with Boxed Water on our most impactful plastic-reduction initiative yet, on a continued journey to minimize inflight waste."

The boxed water switch is another step Alaska Airlines has taken to remove single-use plastic on its planes: In 2018, the airline eliminated both plastic straws and stir sticks.

A boxed water outside an Alaska Airlines flight
Credit: Ingrid Barrenrine/Courtesy of Alaska Airlines

While hydrating on a flight is always a good idea, it is not recommended to drink water that isn't in a bottle or, in this case, box as the water tanks appear to be rarely cleaned.

If you're not a big fan of water, experts suggest you actually order ginger ale on your next flight since its flavor can really hit the spot even amid the drier air and cabin pressure that can dull your sense of taste and smell.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.