Air Canada recently announced a partnership with environmental organization 4ocean, a company dedicated to actively removing waste plastics and trash from the ocean and coastlines while inspiring individuals to work together for cleaner oceans. As the exclusive Canadian airline to sponsor 4ocean, this partnership marks an important milestone in Air Canada’s plastic reduction strategy and creates opportunities for Air Canada employees to participate in coastal North America clean-ups in 2019.
“A key target of Air Canada’s corporate waste strategy is our Single-Use Plastics Reduction program. Our partnership with 4ocean as the exclusive Canadian airline is a great fit with this journey and we are especially delighted with the opportunity to engage our employees in our communities. There are many Air Canada employees who care deeply about sustainability and the environment who are keen to make a difference in actively help reduce ocean plastic pollution,” said Teresa Ehman, Senior Director of Environmental Affairs at Air Canada.
“We are ecstatic to partner with Air Canada in an initiative to eliminate single use plastic. We believe Air Canada’s Sustainability program is a giant leap forward in this initiative. 4ocean is looking forward to removing thousands of pounds of plastic and waste with Air Canada.” said Tony Chvala, CEO of 4ocean.
To date, 4ocean has removed more than four million pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines. Drawing from their years of experience, 4ocean will also participate with the Air Canada team to develop educational resources on ocean conservation for employees to draw from and further enhance the company as an environmental steward.
Air Canada’s ongoing plastic reduction efforts include researching and rethinking important decisions made at various stages of the supply chain. In 2018, a review and assessment of all plastics used onboard was conducted, and the company identified options to eliminate, replace, reduce or recycle is single-use plastics. The 35 million plastic stir sticks used on aircraft and in lounges will be the first single-use plastic to be eliminated at the beginning of Summer 2019.
Starting in Fall 2019, Air Canada will additionally be removing the outer plastic bag from approximately 1.8 million Business Class and Premium Economy Class amenity kits, bringing its total single use plastic items removed from onboard to 36.8 million. The company is supporting this work in partnership with University of Toronto graduate students in their final year of their Master of Science in Sustainability Management program. The students are working with Air Canada to identify alternatives to plastic use onboard our aircraft.