Alaska Airlines becomes first airline to shift from single-use plastic to this more sustainable replacement
Boxed Water Is Better – the most renewable packaged water alternative to plastic bottles– is teaming up with Alaska Airlines to offer less impactful packaged water to passengers as a part of their joint mission to address the ongoing plastic pollution problem.
Starting this month, the airline company will begin to replace single-use plastic bottles in First Class with Boxed Water’s 92% plant-based cartons, effectively removing 7.2 million plastic bottles a year – equivalent to approximately 98,000 lbs of plastic.
The initiative is one of many in Alaska Airlines’ commitment to sustainability and a continuing step forward in reducing inflight waste.
“We are proud to partner with Alaska Airlines to decrease impact of the travel industry on the environment,” said Daryn Kuipers, CEO and cofounder of Boxed Water. “Recycling efforts are essential, but they are not enough. People are starting to travel again, and we’re thrilled to offer Alaska flyers a less impactful alternative to plastic bottles.”
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airline industry generated about 6.7 million tons of cabin waste in 2018, and that number is growing. With the Boxed Water partnership, Alaska Airlines is the first airline to adopt a water carton solution as they work to reduce and replace single-use plastic.
“At Alaska, sustainability is part of our culture, values, and how we run our airline,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability at Alaska Airlines.
“While we know our greatest impact is through carbon emissions, every decision we make, including how we source the products we serve on board, is important. Our new partnership with Boxed Water enables us to offer our guests a significantly more renewable packaged water option. We’ve received positive feedback from employees and guests and are excited to be expanding to more flights.”
Guests will see Boxed Water roll out in several phases. Alaska successfully launched Boxed Water on Alaska’s Horizon Air-operated flights as a pilot earlier this year and will expand to all Alaska flights throughout the summer, beginning in first class May 5.
The airline announced today it will also resume recycling cans, bottles and water bottles starting May 19, after pausing for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recycling has been part of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air’s DNA for 15 years, after employees launched the first recycling programme in the industry.
Alaska Airlines also recently announced a strategy to reduce its climate impact with new goals for carbon, waste and water. This includes a pathway to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, with near-term 2025 targets to maintain carbon neutral growth from 2019.
Known for its industry-leading recycling programme, Alaska has been on a journey to source more sustainable packaging for inflight service, and in 2018 became the first airline to remove plastic straws and stir sticks from all flights, eliminating more than 22 million straws. The airline invites flyers to use airport water stations and #FillBeforeYouFly, as part of an initiative to avoid using single-use packaging at all.
“Any time you fly, good hydration is important to personal health,” said Todd Traynor-Corey, Managing Director of Guest Products for Alaska Airlines. “We encourage guests to bring their own water bottles and #FillBeforeYouFly, to produce the least amount of waste. And we’re thrilled to be working with Boxed Water, a far more sustainable solution than single-use plastic bottles, to make more sustainable options available and reduce waste on our flights.”
Boxed Water’s cartons are the most sustainable on the market at 92% plant-based and are recyclable in many areas, with a plant-based cap made from the tree pulp waste of sustainably harvested pine trees. According to independent life cycle analyses, Boxed Water also has a 36% lower carbon footprint and 43% less fossil fuel use than their plastic counterparts.
Beyond the common ground they share in inflight sustainable water, both Boxed Water and Alaska Airlines support the National Forest Foundation (NFF), with Boxed Water planting 1.2 million trees with the organisation and Alaska guests supporting their mission through donating Mileage Plan miles in their LIFT Miles programme.
“It’s a fantastic collaboration between two companies with a vision for a better planet,” said Mary Mitsos, NFF president and CEO. “We are thrilled to see leaders in the airline industry, like Alaska continue to support these missions as we all work together to make sustainability more feasible to the masses.”