To reach its sustainability goals, the Spanish airline Iberia has undertaken a series of measures to cut the use of plastic, leading to 68.5 tonnes less plastic being loaded onboard its aircraft each year.

To reduce the amount of plastic onboard, the airline has replaced the plastic wrapping of its blankets and duvets with a paper strip (which the airline says will reduce plastic use by 34 tonnes every year) and have also removed the wrapping on headphones, as well as removing the packaging of some items in the long-haul business class toiletry kits.

The plastic beverage stirrers have been replaced with bamboo, while paper drinking straws have replaced plastic and the plastic bags for collecting and storing linen, blankets and pillows have also now been made thinner.

Where possible, the airline said it re-uses plastic items, such as the bags for collecting cabin linen.

In another initiative to make its operations more sustainable, Iberia’s LIFE+Zero Cabin Waste programme recycles 80% of the cabin waste generated onboard, including plastics.

Outside of the cabin, Iberia has also reduced plastic use in its Premium Lounges in the Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas Airport, where returnable glass bottles have replaced cans and plastic containers. The airline has also requested suppliers use bulk formats for many goods. These efforts have led to a reduction of nearly one million cans and 200,000 plastic containers, or 23.5 tonnes of cans and 6.5 tonnes of plastic every year.

The airline explained that these initiatives have been implemented within the framework of its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in this case, Goal 12: Responsible production and consumption.

Iberia has also implemented measures to reduce fuel consumption and emissions in adherence to the UN SDG Goal 13: Climate action, including the replacement of its fleet with aircraft between 15% and 25% more fuel efficient than their predecessors. Digital formats have replaced the newspapers and magazines onboard, which alone accounts for a 615-tonne reduction in annual CO2 emissions. Cockpit manuals and maps have also been replaced by digital media.

InitiativesReduction of Plastic (TN.)

Blankets and duvets wrapped in a paper strip instead of plastic




Long-haul Business Class toiletry items without plastic wrapping




Headphones not wrapped in plastic




Children’s kit offered on long-haul flights no longer come in plastic bags




Bamboo stirrers have replaced plastic




Thinner plastic bags used to collect and store cabin linen, blankets, etc..




Paper drinking straws have replaced plastic







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