British low-cost airline easyJet plans to divert 2,700,000 plastic bottles from landfill over the next five years by turning them into cabin crew and pilot uniforms. Based on the same design as the current uniform, the new garments will be made with a high tech material woven from recycled plastic bottles which the airline claims is more comfortable than the current polyester uniforms.
A complete uniform will use around 45 plastic bottles and the first garments are set to be rolled out to cabin crew in the next few weeks. The uniforms will be manufactured in Northern Ireland using electricity from renewable energy sources that has a 75 per cent lower carbon footprint than the old uniform.
Trialled by cabin crew and pilots last year, the fabric passed the fit-test due to its four-way stretch and abrasion resistance. Compared to polyester, the fabric should not only improve comfort and durability but also last a lot longer.
Tina Milton, director of cabin services at easyJet said the airline was looking at every part of its operation to reduce both carbon emissions and waste. The announcement came on the same day that a United Nations scientific report on climate change was described by Secretary-General António Guterres as “a code red for humanity”.
Rising temperatures and the devastating impact of climate change could be stabilised with a dramatic cut in emissions of greenhouse gases, scientists from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded on Monday.
easyJet says it is still working on a zero-emission aircraft project. “We continue to work with innovative technology partners Wright Electric and Airbus. Each of them has set out its ambitious timetables for bringing zero-emission aircraft into commercial service to become a reality,” Milton explained.
The airline has set itself the goal of becoming a net-zero emissions carrier by 2050 but campaigners say the aviation industry must go much further and that we must all radically reduce the amount we travel if we are to reverse the climate emergency.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.