When one of our existing clients — a leading global tour operator — asked us to help boost their sustainability scores, we knew that high-volume consumables were where we could make the greatest impact. We focused all of our attention on beverage cups and hand towels, which are two of the most high-volume consumable products used by almost every airline.
After a lot of research, we found two sustainable alternatives to the airline’s current product options which will help cut waste and drive down carbon emissions for years to come.
Plastic-free 12oz cups without the compromise
Single-use drinks cups are a major source of waste on most airlines. The biggest problem with a hot and cold beverage cup tends to be the interior lining. Traditionally made from very thin plastic, paper cup linings are not eco-friendly, but they do prevent leaks and protect the drinker.
The cup lids that we supply are already compostable, but to make the cup itself more sustainable (without compromising on passenger safety) we had to rethink our whole approach.
Rather than manufacture directly ourselves, we teamed up with an incredible UK company that makes drinks cups with a plastic-free sustainable lining. Both waterproof and heat-resistant, the new cup lining reduces our client’s reliance on single-use plastics without compromising on passenger safety or budget.
Recycled paper hand towels with a tiny footprint
Paper towels have a surprisingly high carbon footprint. Traditionally made from virgin paper, vast amounts of water and energy are required to create a standard C-fold or Interfold paper towel. To support this client’s sustainability drive, we sourced a tactile, absorbent V-fold paper towel from recycled stock.
The recycled paper used in these new V-fold paper towels doesn’t just keep the airline’s carbon footprint low — it also cuts down on toilet blockages and helps reduce logistics costs. There is also no compromise on paper quality — it’s soft, clean and absorbent. This paper stock is so good, in fact, that we have started using it for the airline’s toilet paper, too.
This seemingly simple switch — from virgin to recycled paper stock — means that this airline can lessen its impact on the natural world without compromising passenger comfort.
A practical approach to sustainability
As an industry, our carbon footprint can come down. It just takes thought, application and a willingness to innovate. We recognise that — for sustainability to work in the world of commerce — product quality needs to stay high and costs need to stay under control.
By prioritising high-volume consumables like cups and towels, our client has been able to make a massive difference without compromising on passenger experience.
If you’re looking for practical, cost-effective ways to improve your sustainability metrics, please get in touch. We can introduce you to a wide range of certified sustainable options and suggest new ways to become a greener airline.