On a an average 3+ hour passenger flight, over 1,000 single-use plastic items are used and discarded. The longer the flight, the more waste is created.
In 2016 alone, airline passengers discarded approximately 5.7 million tons of waste to landfill. If changes arent made now, this number is expected to increase to 10 million tons (pet year) by 2030.
Qantas was the first airline to test out a zero waste flight last May, swapping out single-use plastics for plant starch based cutlery, sugar cane containers and compostable paper cups.
But is this enough? What else can we do with traveling and tourism ever on the rise? Flying produces Carbon Dioxide, lots of it. A 6 hour flight produces about as much CO2 emissions as the average American produces heating their home for one year.
What about carbon offsets?
According to the BBC, Less than half of the world’s major airlines give passengers the opportunity to offset the CO2 produced from their flights, which would cost around $25-45 for an international flight.
Some believe that buying carbon offsets justifies polluting. Others have questioned the effectiveness of tree-planting carbon offsetting.
What are your thoughts? Do you think carbon offsets are part of the solution, just a bandaid, or worse? Should corporations be required to buy them?
Sources: International Air Transport Association, BBC, Qantas