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ABU DHABI: April 22, 2019. Etihad Airways has become the first Gulf airline to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board when one of its B787-9 aircraft landed in Brisbane on Earth Day this year.

Etihad B787 9The milestone flight is part of Etihad’s ongoing commitment to the environment, to go beyond Earth Day celebrations and pledge to reduce single-use plastic usage by 80 percent not just in-flight, but across the entire organisation by the end of 2022.

Etihad says over 95 single-use plastic products are used across its aircraft cabins. Once removed from the Earth Day flight, Etihad prevented over 50kgs. of plastics from being landfilled.

Passengers enjoyed replacement products including sustainable amenity kits, award-winning eco-thread blankets made out of recycled plastic bottles, tablet toothpaste and edible coffee cups while children were treated to eco-plush toys.

As a result of planning the Earth Day flight, Etihad has committed to removing up to 20 percent of single-use plastic items on board by June 01, 2019. By the end of this year the airline says it will have removed 100 tonnes of single-use plastics from its inflight service.

At the same time, a landmark citizen-led cleanup of the River Ganges in India was launched by the Earth Day Network - on Vaisakh, the Hindu New Year for many in India, high in the Himalayan mountains at Devaprayag where two glacier-fed streams meet to form India’s most famous and sacred river. This first phase will evolve over the next 15 months to encompass 100 cities and towns close to the Ganges as it meanders to the famous Sunderbans Delta.

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