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Etihad Plans To Remove 80% of Single-use Plastic in Economy Class

Daniel Ross's image
Daniel Ross
Daniel Ross's image

Daniel Ross

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Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...

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Etihad Airways has unveiled its plans to completely overhaul its economy class dining experience with sustainability as the driver behind the changes.

While the exact introduction date is yet to be revealed, passengers flying economy with the national airline of the United Arab Emirates can expect the changes during the fourth quarter of 2022.

“Etihad is trailblazing when it comes to sustainability in aviation,” said Terry Daly, Executive Director of Guest Experience, Brand, and Marketing at Etihad Airways. “Following extensive research and development through our eco flights over the past few years, we’re proud to reveal the first in a series of enhancements to our inflight experience.”

The announcement comes as Etihad indicates that it has fulfilled its promise from 2019 to remove 80% of single-use plastic by the end of 2022.

Here are the changes that are afoot in Ethiad’s economy cabins.

Increased Sustainability in Economy

Economy is the cabin where you’d expect to find the most waste onboard any airline due to the nature of the service: passengers are typically served their meals in plastic containers rather than proper crockery and, oftentimes, airlines will use cups and cutlery made from single-use plastic.

The airline states that its new economy class meal service equipment will be “fully reusable” and made from recycled high-quality plastic.

A new “closed-loop recycling system” will be implemented to fashion new products out of plastic trays, serving plates, and lids, once they’re no longer useable.

Guests in economy will also be given stainless-steel cutlery as opposed to plastic.

A snapshot of an Etihad economy cabin
Etihad economy passengers will see positive changes in meal service that support sustainability. Image Credit: Etihad

Additionally, guests will receive an all-new soft blanket made from recycled plastic.

You’ll be able to try out Etihad’s reduced-plastic economy experience for yourself from 3 U.S. cities: Chicago (ORD), New York (JFK), and Washington, D.C (IAD).

The lowest return economy fares from New York (JFK) to the airline’s hub in Abu Dhabi (AUH) can be found in September and October starting at around $843.

Hot Tip: Want to fly Etihad, but in a bit more luxury than economy? There are several U.S. credit cards that will earn you enough Etihad Guest miles to treat yourself to a trip to Abu Dhabi (AUH) in business or first class without breaking the bank.

Final Thoughts

Etihad is doing away with 80% single-use plastic in its economy cabins. This is a great step towards making its flights as sustainable as possible.

The question is, when will we see the complete removal of plastic in all cabins, on all flights, and, more importantly, is it even possible to do so?

Daniel Ross's image

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.

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