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Iberia reduces use of plastic on flights by 68.5 tonnes per year

19 July 2019

One of Iberia’s key strategies is to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics. Here’s how the airline has improved the sustainability of its operations:


The initiatives listed below mean that each year 68.5 tonnes less plastic is loaded aboard Iberia aircraft:

  • Paper has replaced plastic for wrapping blankets and duvets, saving an estimated 34 tonnes of plastic.
  • The plastic packaging of some items in long-haul Business class toilet kits have been eliminated.
  • Headphones in all seating classes are no longer wrapped in plastic.
  • As of September, the plastic wrapping of children’s kits on long-haul flights will also be eliminated.
  • Plastic swizzle sticks for beverages have been replaced with bamboo ones.
  • Plastic bags used for collecting and storing soiled linen, blankets and pillows are now thinner, reducing plastic by 22 tonnes.
  • Paper drinking straws have replaced plastic ones.
  • Plastic use on the ground has also been reduced dramatically at Iberia’s Premium Lounges in the Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas Airport, where returnable glass bottles have replaced cans and plastic containers, and suppliers have been asked to use bulk formats for many goods.
This has 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.


Wherever possible, Iberia re-uses plastic items, such as the bags used to collect and store cabin linen, blankets, etc. to reduce the impact of these products on the environment.


Iberia’s LIFE+Zero Cabin Waste programme makes its operations more sustainable by recycling 80% of the cabin waste generated on board, including plastics.

All these initiatives have been implemented within the framework of Iberia’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in this case refered to Goal 12: Responsible production and consumption.

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 Bulky paper cockpit manuals and maps have also been replaced by digital media.

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