“Boarding starts now”. Still many people travel by plane as it still seems to be the best way to travel when it comes to far destinations. When you are on a long-haul flight, do you think about how much plastic you are wasting? According to Forbes last year there is a record of 45 million airline flights that took place world-wide, which had roughly around 4.5 billion travellers. All those travellers leave trails; Trails of waste. The amount of plastic waste for each take-off is extensive, from meal trays to amenity kits, all contribute to 5.7 millions of cabin waste produced on flight each year. Therefore, an average person wastes about 3 pounds of plastic, of which one-third is single-use plastic on each flight! Some people do not even use or eat the product and it just gets thrown away.  

PriestmanGoode, a travel design studio who is addressing the environmental effects with inflight products, has a good solution for that. They want airlines to re-evaluate how they serve their meals, drinks and the rest of items. So, the studio designed sustainable cabin products called Get OnBoard: Reduce. Reuse. Rethink. The items can be spotted as part of an exhibit at the Design Museum in London that runs from 12 September 2019 to 9 February 2020.

The studio has been designing for many aerospace companies such as; Luftansa and Embraer for over two decades. Their inflight products are lightweight and include from the meal trays to single-use plastic utensils ,cups and other internal parts of the aircraft. The trays are made from coffee grounds and rice husks, the lids are made from bamboo and banana leaves and the sporks are made from coconut wood. All these materials that are used are edible, biodegradable, compostable and ready to be washed for future reuse. This is a combination of different solutions for not only single-use and degradable but also reusable. This design concept is to aim to encourage refillable and reusable products.

Furthermore, the studio wanted to focus on the behavioural aspect of how a passenger thinks about waste during travel. As we know these products are prototypes and with a desire to be developed for use in the future. PriestmanGoode, has already started to talk to different suppliers to begin manufacturing and realise these sustainable products.

So, what does this mean for the future of travel industries? Rowan of PriestmanGoode says;‘We know things need to change, and soon.’ Some countries plan to ban single-use plastic as early as 2021, others already banned plastic straws. The legislation is coming and it is necessary, especially the travel industry since it’s wasting three pounds per flight. Of course, this is part of the sustainability movement.  But also, positive consequences to the world and the behavioural purpose of a traveller.  What is your Heritage or Footprint as a human being on this Earth. We see more and more awareness about these aspects amongst society, and now products and services are being created that can help this awareness change into new behaviour.