Virgin Australia has banned plastic straws and stirrers from all its planes and lounges.
The move will see more than 260,000 straws and 7.5 million stirrers removed from its operations each year. Virgin will replace the plastic with paper straws and bamboo stirrers.
“This is part of our focus to improve the sustainability of the packaging we use as a business and to reduce the amount of single-use plastic across our inflight and lounge offerings,’’ Virgin general manager of group sustainability Rob Wood said in a statement.
“As an airline, we have a responsibility to contribute to sustainable initiatives that will benefit the environment and removing plastic straws and stirrers is an important step in the right direction.
“We know there are still improvements to be made, but we are committed to continuing to look for ways to improve the environmental footprint of our operations.”
Plastic straws have come under fire in Australia, especially since the War on Waste documentary on the ABC. Research from the CSIRO shows that 71 per cent of seabirds and 30 per cent of turtles have been found with plastic in their stomachs.
Plastic straws are one of the top ten items found in beach cleanups.