JAL: Further Expanding Efforts to Reduce Single-use Plastics in Cabin

Environmental Aviation Climate solutions Operations

In order to pass on this precious Earth to the next generation, the JAL Group is ramping up its commitment to sustainability, transforming air travel into a source of delight and pride through efforts such as striving for net zero emissions by 2050.

As part of these efforts, JAL is replacing various plastic fixtures and fittings in the cabin with materials that take sustainability and resource recycling into consideration, and has set a management goal of "eliminating all new petroleum-derived single-use plastics in the cabin and lounge by FY2025. JAL will continue to promote the "3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) + 1R (Redesign)" and accelerate its various initiatives  to achieve further reduction of single-use plastics.

1. Initiatives on both international and domestic flights
■Introduced environmentally friendly materials for paper cup lids and muddlers
【 Effect of single-use plastics reduction: approx. 31 tons per year】
We have replaced the lids of three types of paper cups used for soft drinks in first class on domestic flights and for hot drinks and straws in economy class on both international and domestic flights, with paper products that have acquired international certification in consideration of forest resources since October 2022. As a result, all types of paper cup lids provided on international and domestic flights will be made of paper.

Following the introduction of wooden muddlers on international flights since September 2019, paper muddlers will be gradually introduced on domestic flights beginning with the "Sustainable Charter Flight" on November18, and the replacement of existing products will be completed on all JAL Group by the end of FY2022.

2. Initiative in economy class on international flights
■Introduced paper products for containers and lids for main dishes and tray mats
【 Effect of single-use plastics reduction: approx. 175 tons per year】

From January 2023, the containers and lids for main dishes used for in-flight meals in economy class on international flights will be replaced with internationally certified paper materials that take forest resources into consideration, instead of conventional plastic products. Prior to this, the introduction of paper tray mats for customers has introduced since August 2022. 

The new in-flight meal containers and lids have the same capacity and strength as the previous products. This
initiative is scheduled to be rolled out to all eligible routes in the economy class by the fall of 2023, and will
reduce single-use plastics equivalent to approximately 150 tons for main meal containers and lids and
approximately 25 tons for tray mats per year compared to the FY2019 results.

■Introduced recycled plastic products for small bowl lids and plastic cups for alcoholic beverages
【Effect of single-use plastics reduction: approx. 311 tons per year】
Lids used for small bowls of side dishes and desserts and cups used for serving alcoholic beverages will be sequentially replaced with recycled plastic products from December 2022, and will be rolled out to all routes by around September 2023.

3. Initiative on both international and domestic flights plant-based shopping bags

Shopping bags made of KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer Green PlanetTM, a 100% plant-derived developed by Kaneka Corporation, will be introduced for in-flight sales on international and domestic flights in late November.

The “Green Planet" is a biomass polymer produced from vegetable oil by microorganisms and developed by Kaneka Corporation. It can be processed into various products such as bags, cutlery, and food container packaging materials, and is attracting attention as a revolutionary material that can replace petroleum-derived commodity plastics. The shopping bags for in-flight sales are available in two sizes (L and M). The "Green Planet" shopping bags will be introduced for the L size (FY2019 result: approx. 240,000 bags per year). It will also be introduced for the M size (FY 2019 results: approximately 1 million bags per year) as soon as the stock of the 50% biomass material currently in use runs out.

4. Initiative at the "BLUE SKY" airport store

The airport store "BLUE SKY" first introduced "Green Planet" medium-size shopping bags at the Naha Airport store in July 2021, and expanded the rollout nationwide in April 2022. We will further promote the switch to shopping bags of various sizes in the future.

In addition to this initiative to reduce single-use plastics, the JAL Group will gradually introduce SDGs-
conscious in-flight meals in order to make all flights sustainable by 2050.