Climate activist Greta Thunberg made headlines this summer by choosing to sail, rather than fly, from Europe to the U.S. to take a stand against the heavy carbon footprint of airline travel. But what about the items on board? After all, the average airline passenger produces three pounds of waste during their flight, most of which end up in landfills. The British design firm PriestmanGoode is on a mission to change this.
The company has created a line of sustainable airline food ware made of coffee grounds, corn husks, and banana leaves which aims to reduce waste from in-flight meals. Large scale implementation of waste reduction practices would require coordination between airlines and countries, because waste disposal is dependent on the country you land in. But companies such as Alaskan Air and Air France have already made pledges to reduce waste, and United Airlines has begun to use compostable containers on its flights.
As flights become more accessible to middle-class travelers, airline waste will only increase, and creating sustainable and design-conscious in-flight options is critical to getting airlines on board with innovative waste reduction practices. Airline food might be bad, but at least it’s getting greener!