Ryanair Commits To Going Plastic-Free On All Flights By 2023

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May. 23 2019, Updated 9:28 a.m. ET

Ryanair announced on Wednesday that it would be eliminating plastics over the course of five years and would install a carbon offset scheme for their customers. This goes along with other new features that would be implemented in a new “Always Getting Better” plan. 

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The airline’s new environmental plan aims to remove all non-recyclable plastics from their daily operation by 2023. What does this look like in practice? For example, they'll switch plastic in-flight products to biodegradable coffee cups and disposable wooden eating utensils. Customers will even have the chance to bring their own cups on board!

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Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, doesn’t believe that the airline could remove all plastics, but they are targeting to remove 100 percent of non-recyclable plastics. These products are plastics that don’t have a number listed on them. They include many trash bags, Ziplock bags, bubble wrap, clinging wrap, and any bottles or bags that are soiled.

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“It’s not just inflight food and drink,” Jacobs told The Guardian. “We’re looking at the plastic parts within the aircraft and what’s [non-recyclable] and how do we work with the original equipment manufacturers to move to more recyclable plastics within the aircraft and the operation.”

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Other incentives the company will add to their “Always Getting Better” program include making sure that at least 90 percent of their flights are on time, offering an easier process for customers to accept compensation for delayed or cancelled flights, and giving customers travel credit when booking hotels. Their goal is to increase aircraft capacity and limit carbon emissions per passenger. According to Jacobs, they’re already at an average of 96 percent capacity on flights.

Most of the “Always Getting Better” plan looks to be an attempt to restore the relationship between Ryanair management, the airline staff, and the many customers that have had to deal with cancellations. It’s also a way to offset their CEO by making a commitment to tackling plastic pollution. After a tumultuous past year, the Irish airline looks to be taking the right steps forward.

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