Yes, I admit it, I am off again on an aircraft on Monday, flying to Venice. Despite what the protestors may think, we’re not going to stop air travel, but can we make differences and make it more sustainable. We do we have trolleys of Duty Free products on aircraft? If you take into account the cost of printing the glossy catalogues and the additional fuel from the weight of the catalogues and the large amount of different toys, drinks, perfumes, food and other products, does it really make money? One airline has already achieved substantial savings from dropping it altogether. Why, especially on long haul flights, can the catalogue not be digital and the products waiting for you to collect at Arrivals?
Similarly, think of all the waste from those drink bottles and cans, metals trays, plastic cutlery and other packaging for your meal. Every passenger on a long haul flight generates a kilogram of waste. That adds up to a lot if you take into account the number of flights and passangers flying out of Heathrow alone. Can we make changes like liquid dispensers and slimline reusable water bottles made of lightweight and sustainable materials like cork and bamboo.
How can we do things better and make a change? Designers at PriestmanGoode raise these questions in ‘Get Onboard: Reduce, Reuse, Rethink’, proposing solutions in their hard-hitting exhibition at the Design Museum. The airlines can only go so far. It is the customers that really have to change their attitudes, which is far more difficult.