A non-sustainable experience on a flight

It’s Diwali in India next week and I am flying home to visit my family. And of course the process of going home starts with flying, which to be honest not my favorite part of a journey. I would prefer a train any day over a flight, anyway that’s not the main point here.

I flew with the leading German flight carrier Lufthansa. No doubt, it’s one of the best to fly with. But someone like me, who is recently too much invested in the whole topic of being sustainable, living plastic free and going towards minimum waste as much as I can and least but not last trying to being a minimalist (big time inspired by the story of the minimalists), was extremely disappointed with the whole flight experience.

It didn’t start at the airport itself but the progress technology has made took me by a surprise. Everything from printing my boarding pass to checking in my luggage, there was no human interaction involved (I know, it’s ironic for me to say that sentence because guess what I am by profession). Well, I was glad to talk to some humans later at border control and security checks, but even that’s not the main point.

You get a lot of food and beverages served onboard. It started with a pre-lunch snack and check the image below how it looked. “It’s all the little things”, yes, exactly Lufthansa. You see the plastic that you wrap the almonds in and the plastic cups you use to serve water and juice and are basically single use. Just imagine, that was one flight of 500 people and looking at my neighbors, they each used 6-8 of those cups (not me, I used 1 for the whole flight and believe me I feel bad even for that). Lufthansa flies 100 of those flights everyday and guess what, the picture of single use plastic coming out of that plane is not pretty.

That was the first round of disappointment. Then comes the time of lunch. Brace yourself, except the cutlery there was just plastic (and worse aluminum foil). No wonder the study from Austrian university found micro-plastic in our poop. Check the picture below for reference.

Food was not the only thing which came wrapped beautifully in plastic. All the blankets and the headphones for in-flight infotainment came also wrapped. Come on, there you have choice of at least wrapping it in paper. I am still sitting at airport, waiting for my next flight, looking for places who serve coffee in a cup (I found one) and I am so much bothered about it that I cannot not write about it.

Passengers are not allowed to carry their own food on flight and then all you get is plastic. How much can you as an individual contribute to make the planet better place for us? The giants who have the ability to impact only think about getting things on lowest possible price and no, the flight costs itself are not cheap. Then why, why we still don’t care about anything on surface, below water and even in air? Where are we going as a selfish society and how long will it take until we realize?

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