MIAMI — Emirates will reduce the amount of single-use plastics onboard its aircraft. Since June 1, the Dubai-based carrier has introduced paper straws, with the ambition of making all flights plastic-free soon.

Emirates becomes another legacy airline to make this commitment this year after Etihad and Qantas. Emirates has been working with various third parties, to find solutions to plastic, as the drive for sustainability grows within the aviation industry.

From August, Emirates will replace all its plastic bags with paper bags, which are used for onboard purchases. Emirates also plans to replace swizzle sticks and stirrers, with an alternate sustainable counterpart before the end of 2019.

Photo: Mouenthias

These measures aim to divert around three tonnes—or 150,000 plastic bottles—of waste from land fill sites each month, according to the carrier.

Despite this announcement, Qantas Airways is ahead of Emirates, by pleading to cut 100 million, single-use plastics from its flights by the end of 2020, reducing this by a further 75%, by the end of 2021.