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Great: Alaska Airlines introduces Boxed Water cartons

Alaska Airlines is eliminating the use of plastic water bottles by introducing Boxed Water cartons.

Starting today (4th November 2021), the Seattle-based carrier is trading plastic water bottles for Boxed Water Is Better brand’s 92% plant-based cartons and swapping out plastic cups with recyclable paper cups for water service.

As we all know, inflight water service is the most significant contributor of onboard plastic waste. The switch to Boxed water cartons saves an estimated 1.8 million pounds of single-use plastics from flights over the next year, which is equivalent to the weight of 18 Boeing B737s. The change to more sustainable solutions will effectively remove 22 million plastic cups and 32 million plastic bottles per year from Alaska Airlines’ flights.

Diana Birkett Rakow, Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability, Alaska Airlines, said:

As a West Coast-based airline, we fly to some of the most beautiful places on earth. Protecting these habitats is critical for our collective future, and reducing plastic waste is a key step. We’re proud to partner with Boxed Water on our most impactful plastic-reduction initiative yet, on a continued journey to minimize inflight waste.

Daryn Kuipers, CEO for Boxed Water, said:

We are grateful to Alaska Airlines for leading the airline industry with bold steps toward plastic waste reduction. Our ability to scale with Alaska from First Class to main cabin in just six months demonstrates both operational feasibility and the interest travelers have in more renewable inflight offerings.

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Alaska was the first airline to offer guests Boxed Water cartons inflight in early 2021, introducing the renewable packaged water alternative in First Class and on Alaska’s Horizon Air-operated flights. The trial was a success with guests and employees, with surveyed fliers preferring Boxed Water over plastic bottled water at a rate of two-to-one.

Todd Traynor-Corey, Managing Director of Guest Products, Alaska Airlines, said:

Only 9% of plastic is recycled nationwide – the rest ends up in landfills, burned or in our environment. Although we have an industry-leading recycling program, the reality is that we need to move to renewable options. Getting to this point hasn’t been easy. We investigated several options with our supply chain – and this year we finally found a product our guests love and a partner whose mission-driven values mirror our own.

Alaska’s Green Team Employee Business Resource Group, in order to identify the most renewable packaged water option, spent months researching and vetting package materials, water quality, life cycle analysis, production impacts, and recycling capabilities.

So you may ask what is Boxed water? Boxed Water is a fully recyclable box-shaped carton of water, sealed with a plant-based cap. Its 100% pure water goes through a proprietary multi-step purification process, which includes reverse osmosis, carbon filtration, UV light and ozonation. The water is also pH neutral and free from additives.

Alaska states that the adoption of Boxed Water is part of its efforts to reduce inflight waste, from onboard recycling to being the first airline to eliminate plastic straws and stir sticks in 2018. The airline invites flyers to use airport water stations and #FillBeforeYouFly, as part of an initiative to avoid using single-use packaging at all, and offsets its water consumption with local habitat restoration projects managed by its partner Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF).

Alaska has eliminated hundreds of single-use waste items. It is also providing guests the option to pre-order food so that the guests get exactly what they want. Offering food for purchase via pre-order has dramatically decreased the food waste that was experienced pre-COVID. Starting today, Alaska will provide more food options for guests to pre-order.

Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines recently announced the addition of Cleveland, Ohio to its growing list of destinations with nonstop flights from Seattle starting in June 2022.

Featured image by Alaska Airlines

All the other images by Alaska Airlines

What do you think of Alaska Airlines switching to Boxed Water and eliminating the use of plastic water bottles? Let me know in the comments section below.

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