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May 3, 2019
4ocean, a global ocean cleanup company, announced it has partnered with Air Canada to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastics on the airline's aircrafts and in its lounges.
As 4ocean's exclusive Canadian airline partner, Air Canada's partnership marks a key milestone in its plastic reduction and elimination strategy, which will start with eliminating all plastic stir sticks on aircrafts and in lounges this summer. Through this partnership, Air Canada also is creating the opportunity for its employees to participate in 4ocean's coastal North America cleanups in 2019.
"We are ecstatic to partner with Air Canada in an initiative to eliminate single-use plastic," said Tony Chvala, chief operating officer at 4ocean, in a statement. "We believe Air Canada's sustainability program is a giant leap forward in this initiative. 4ocean is looking forward to removing thousands of pounds of plastic and waste with Air Canada."
"A key target of Air Canada's corporate waste strategy is our Single-Use Plastics Reduction program. Our partnership with 4ocean as the exclusive Canadian airline is a great fit with this journey, and we are especially delighted with the opportunity to engage our employees in our communities," said Teresa Ehman, senior director of environmental affairs at Air Canada, in a statement. "There are many Air Canada employees who care deeply about sustainability and the environment and who are keen to make a difference in actively helping to reduce ocean plastic pollution."
To date, 4ocean has removed more than 4 million pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines in 27 countries and partnered with more than 15 charities. The company employs more than 300 people in the U.S., Indonesia and Haiti. 4ocean also said it will work with the Air Canada team to develop educational resources on ocean conservation for employees to draw from and further enhance the company as an environmental steward.
Air Canada's ongoing plastic reduction efforts include researching and rethinking important decisions made at various stages of the supply chain. In 2018, a review and assessment of all plastics used onboard was conducted, and the company identified options to eliminate, replace, reduce or recycle its single-use plastics. The plastic stir sticks will be the first single-use plastic item to be eliminated.
The company is supporting this work in partnership with University of Toronto graduate students in their final year of their Master of Science in the Sustainability Management Program. The students are working with Air Canada to identify alternatives to plastic use onboard aircrafts.
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