Maharashtra ban effect? Airlines go green, cut plastic cutlery, trash bags

Photo: iStock
Plastic is going off aircraft galleys as domestic airlines are switching to eco-friendly materials for cutlery and bottles.

The move to cut down the use of plastic comes as part of airlines' larger commitment towards the environment. It will help airlines comply with Maharashtra government's decision to restrict the use of plastic though there is still a grey area on whether state order is applicable to them. 

Vistara will reduce plastic use on board by over 50 per cent this year. GoAir has stopped carrying plastic cutlery and Air India is considering replacing plastic cups with those made of bone china or paper. Jet Airways said it is reviewing the government decision regarding the use of plastic in order to ensure compliance. 

Use of plastic cutlery is common on flights especially on economy cabins and no-frill airlines. Other plastic items used on board include water bottles, meal wrappers, trash bags and covers for headphones and blankets.

The Maharashtra government has banned the use of single disposable items made from plastic such as spoons, forks, cups, glasses. Plastic bags and wrap used for packaging or storing products too are covered under the ban.

Vistara has said it will reduce consumption of plastic by over 50 per cent this year. Proposed measures include replacing plastic casseroles with aluminium dishes, plastic straws, and stirrers with paper or wooden ones and disposable bowls in economy class with reusable variety. “ We are actively working with our vendors and considering every touch point including alternative ways of packaging water to reduce dependence on plastic bottles,” said a Vistara spokesperson.

Vistara said it is the first and only Indian carrier to use oxo-biodegradable cutlery and pouch and serves meals in FSC certified meal boxes. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council which is the global certification for environment-friendly practices.

A Jet Airways spokesperson said “ Most equipment used for onboard services is reusable, and the airline has been continuously taking proactive steps to minimize its environmental impact. Some of these include using paper cups, deploying bio-degradable bags and insulated boxes for hot and cold items.”

“Jet Airways is reviewing the scope and likely impact of the latest notification regarding the use of plastic in order to ensure its compliance,” the airline added.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel