In its pledge to reduce usage of plastic, especially single-use plastic, Vistara, India’s finest full-service carrier, plans to remove all individual-sized 200ml water bottles from its flights. This initiative was implemented on Delhi – Mumbai flights on July 16, and will be extended to all flights across the airline’s network in phases over the coming weeks. Economy Class customers, who were hitherto given water in small plastic bottles, will now be served mineral water in environment-friendly paper cups.
Thus far, Vistara has significantly reduced single-use plastic usage and has a further 50% reduction target this year. The airline continues to undertake several other eco-friendly initiatives to support its award-winning inflight service with minimal use of plastics, by switching to packaging from renewable and bio-degradable sources. Vistara is the first and only carrier in India to serve oxo-biodegradable cutlery and pouch to Economy class customers. It has also replaced plastic casseroles with aluminium dishes in Economy and china casseroles in Premium Economy, plastic straws and stirrers with paper or wooden ones, and disposable bowls in economy class with reusable ones.
Eliminating the use of bottled water is a major challenge, as a practical, non-plastic alternative is not available for individual units of water. However, Vistara’s decision comes with a larger consideration of disposable plastic being one of the biggest pollutants that continues to pose a threat to the global environment.