Alaska Airlines Replaces Inflight Plastic Cups with Paper Cups

Alaska Airlines Replaces Inflight Plastic Cups with Paper Cups

Alaska Airlines has changed to paper cups for inflight beverages, replacing over 55 million plastic cups used by the airline each year.

It’s the first U.S. airline to do so, and with its partnership with Boxed Water, it now eliminates 2.2 million pounds of plastic waste with the transition. According to the airline, that’s the equivalent weight of 24 of its Boeing 737s.


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Paper cups used on all Alaska flights are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified or, for most First Class services, reusable glassware. The airline has been steadily eliminating its plastic use since 2018, when it removed plastic straws and plastic stir sticks. In 2021, its partnership with Boxed Water replaced plastic water bottles with plant-based FSC-certified paper cartons.

“Doing the right thing is one of our core values and nothing is more right and urgent than protecting the beautiful places that we connect our guests to through flight,” said Todd Traynor-Corey, managing director of guest products for Alaska Airlines. “This is another important step in our journey to eliminate single-use plastics and an important step for the industry to see how product innovations can chart a course to a greener future.”

Alaska Airlines’ replacement of plastic cups is part of its 2025 goal to replace its top five waste-producing items from its onboard service. It also has a five-part pathway to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

“Eliminating plastics is a team effort,” said Traynor-Corey. “It requires broad collaboration with our supply chain partners and inflight team to make new products and practices that move us toward a future with less plastic. That progress only happens with a deeply shared commitment to care for our environment.”

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