Ryanair has pledged to eliminate all non-recyclable plastics from its operations by 2023, and introducing a voluntary carbon offset payment for customers when booking. As well as switching to biodegradable cups, wooden cutlery and paper packaging on-board, they have also committed to make their head office, bases and operations plastic free. They will also address the plastic parts within the aircraft to see what is non-recyclable, and to work with the original equipment manufacturers to move to more recyclable plastics.
In providing an option for carbon offsetting, Ryanair joins the likes of British Airways and EasyJet who already offer similar policies to their customers, in an attempt to reduce their environmental impact and improve their green credentials. However, Ryanair has taken it one step further in order to become the “greeniest airline” by taking steps to address all non-recyclable plastics throughout the company, including aircraft components and those present in head office. Should this succeed it could not only encourage other airlines to do the same, but could facilitate innovation within the aviation sector in pursuit of sustainable alternate materials for use within aircrafts.