In a defining moment for the sustainability of the planet, and a global first for the airline industry, the Mirpuri Foundation has announced that wet-lease carrier Hi Fly is poised to make the first-ever jet-age passenger flight with not a single-use plastic item on board. Mirpuri Foundation is the principal sustainability partner of Hi Fly.
The ‘plastics-free’ trial, involving four flights by Hi Fly’s wide-body Airbus A340, will jet into the history books for the first time on December 26th, when it takes off from Lisbon on its way to Natal in Brazil.
The first flight will be full with holidaymakers looking to Samba-dance their way out of 2018. It will return to Lisbon, this time with Brazilian passengers looking to welcome in the New Year Portuguese style. The revellers will then make the return journey home a week later. Over 700 passengers will take part in the trial.
Commenting ahead of the take-off, Mirpuri Foundation and Hi Fly President Paulo Mirpuri said: “This historic Hi Fly flight, without any single-use plastic items on board, underlines our commitment to making Hi Fly the world’s first ‘plastics-free’ airline within 12 months. The Foundation had driven this policy through all of our family corporations and it’s a commitment we take very seriously.”
“The test flights will prevent around 350 KG of single-use, virtually indestructible plastics form poisoning our environment.”
“Over 100,000 flights take off each day around the world and, last year, commercial aircraft carried nearly four billion passengers. This number is expected to double again in less than 20 years. So, the potential to make a difference here is clearly enormous.”
“The test flights will help us trial the many substitute items we have developed and introduced, in a real-world environment. We know we may encounter some initial teething problems, but we are confident of addressing these over the coming months.”
“We know, too, from the feedback we have received from client airlines and passengers, that it’s the right thing for the airline to be doing.”
Pedro Ramos, the Director-General of Tour operator Alto Astral, who chartered the flights between Lisbon and Brazil, spoke of his company’s delight at being a participant in this key industry event.
“Everyone at Alto Astral is excited to be involved in this adventure and we believe that future generations will thank those of us who have been prepared to stand up to try to make a difference now.”
“The Mirpuri family and its Foundation and companies have long been the leaders in the field of corporate environmental responsibility and sustainability, and they have rightly identified, as a key objective, the early elimination of plastics pollution. It’s been great for us to see how, in practical terms, they have gone about replacing so much in order to kick-start this elimination process.”
“All together for a better world, we say.”
The plastics-free test flight is just the latest move by the Foundation and Hi Fly to make their entire fleet ‘plastics free’ by the end of 2019. The move has already been taken up in the company’s offices.
Among the scores single use plastic items that have been replaced are: cups, spoons, salt and pepper shakers, sick bags, packaging for bedding, dishes, individual butter pots, soft drink bottles and toothbrushes.
And among the many innovations presented to passengers on the flight, by environmental experts, will be bamboo cutlery, an array of paper packaging, and containers that, once used, can be readily composted.
When it all started: The Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign
As the founding partner of the “Turn the Tide on Plastic” boat in the around the world Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 edition, the Mirpuri Foundation is globally raising awareness for this unprecedented campaign to eliminate marine litter and plastic in particular. If no action is taken, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.
Hi Fly supported Mirpuri Foundation’s idea to carry the message across the five continents. The chosen aircraft was an Airbus A330-200, which is now painted on both sides, matching the “Turn the Tide on Plastic” boat – one dark blue “polluted” side and another light blue “clean” one. The Volvo Ocean Race competition is now over, but the Hi Fly aircraft is still spreading the message around the world.
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