Leading Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific will replace non-recyclable plastic spoons, forks, stirrers and cups with sustainable alternatives on all its domestic and international flights starting October 1, 2018. The shift to eco-friendly utensils for inflight meals and refreshments is part of initiatives by Cebu Pacific to push for sustainability and reduction of inflight waste and will also cover flights mounted by subsidiary Cebgo.
On the average, Cebu Pacific mounts about 400 flights daily across 37 domestic and 26 international destinations. In 2017, the carrier flew a total of 19.7 million passengers, and targets to carry 22 million in 2018. On the average, all CEB and Cebgo flights use approximately 18,500 pieces of plastic spoons and forks, plastic cups, and plastic stirrers daily.
"As we continue to help pump-prime local economies through accessible, affordable and available flights, we are also committed to reducing our impact on the environment. We want to cut down on our use of non-recyclable plastic to only what is necessary," said Lance Gokongwei, President and CEO of Cebu Pacific.
From the current plastic spoon and fork, Cebu Pacific will shift to bio-compostable cutlery made from polylactic acid (PLA) derived from corn starch, which is a renewable resource. This material is molded the same way conventional plastic is, but it breaks down into harmless biomass or organic matter. Plastic cups, on the other hand, would be replaced with biodegradable paper cups; while plastic stirrers for coffee or tea would be changed to compostable wood stirrers.
"We are continually reviewing our operations to see where and how else we can reduce our impact on the environment. We are investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft, and in technology that improves flight operation efficiency, allowing the airline to reduce fuel consumption and consequential carbon emissions. Cebu Pacific is committed to rolling out more initiatives to help protect our planet and ensure that we operate sustainably."
The change to eco-friendly utensils for inflight catering is just the latest in environmental initiatives that Cebu Pacific is integrating into its operations and core strategy. Over the past several months, the carrier has invested in technology and other operational measures that help reduce fuel burn and its consequential carbon emissions. These include a fuel management system that helps optimize operations; the Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) cockpit technology for its Airbus fleet, which monitors and calculates optimal runway landing conditions; and Area Navigation (RNAV) data for more accurate navigation and approaches to various airports.