Back in January, I wrote an open letter to Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, and to David Cush, the CEO of the Virgin America airline, asking them to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated by their planes.
A few days later, Richard Branson wrote back!
Now, after working together with Virgin America and the Plastic Pollution Coalition for the past few months, I can report that the airline has taken its first steps in helping to reduce plastic waste in the air. Read this week’s Virgin America post, “Keeping the Coast Clear… of Plastic.”
Virgin America asked the Plastic Pollution Coalition to create an educational video for its passengers with helpful tips for reducing their plastic footprint while flying. PPC co-founder Dianna Cohen worked her butt off getting this video made in the short amount of time we had. And I think it’s great. Virgin America will not only be posting the video on their blog, but will also upload it to Red, the entertainment system on all of their aircraft. (I’ll let you know when that happens.)
While I think these steps are important–it’s very important to let passengers know what steps they can take to reduce plastic–I also want Virgin America to be a leader and continue to find ways to reduce the amount of disposable plastic that the airline offers passengers in the first place. Doing an audit of Virgin’s plastic footprint would be a great place to begin. Finding alternatives to plastic water bottles, food wrap, and foodware would be awesome. Because let’s face it: every passenger is not going to want to bring their own bottle or food container or utensils or straw. But the airline could offer alternatives that are easier on the environment.
Please join me in thanking Virgin America for the steps they are taking and asking them to go even further. Please leave a comment here. You can also:
1) Send a message on Virgin America’s contact page.
2) Leave a comment on Virgin America’s blog post.
3) Tweet a message to @VirginAmerica.
4) Leave a message on Virgin America’s Facebook page.
Your voices matter. They really do.