In an effort to reduce carbon and plastic waste Liverpool’s biggest airline easyJet is to kit out its crew and pilots in uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles. Tony McDonough reports
Air crews and pilots working for easyJet out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport are to start wearing uniforms made out of recycled plastic bottles.
Each uniform will be made using 45 bottles with a potential of 500,000 bottles to be reused annually as part of the airline’s commitment to address impacts beyond carbon and reduce waste.
The high-tech material is made using renewable energy sources and has a 75% lower carbon footprint than traditional polyester. Over the course of the new five-year uniform contract easyJet will be responsible for preventing 2,700,000 plastic bottles from ending up in land fill or in oceans
Manufactured by Northern-Ireland based Tailored Image, the new uniform will be introduced into cabin crew circulation this month. The new fabric, adapted to the airline’s current style, was first trialled last year for suitability in the cabin and flight deck environments.
Compared to the non-recycled alternative, it is more abrasion-resistant. It also provides even more elasticity, a four-way stretch, improving fit and freedom of movement for enhanced comfort and durability. This development can lead to it being long-lasting for the wearer, reducing the need for more uniform items to be produced in the long term.
Beyond the new fabric, plastic has also been replaced in all clothing-related packaging in favour of recyclable and biodegradable materials.
This includes replacing plastic collar strays with recyclable cardboard ones, plastic shirt clips with metal shirt clips, non-recyclable white coated card with recyclable cardboard card and polypropylene outer shirt covers with biodegradable shirt covers.
EasyJet, the biggest airline at Liverpool alongside Ryanair, has already taken steps to reduce plastic onboard as it continues to reduce the number of single-use plastic items used on its flights.
The airline has already replaced many items with more sustainable alternatives, such as introducing a small plant-based bowl as a teabag holder, removing more than 27m individual items of plastic from its inflight retail operation.
Tina Milton, director of cabin services at easyJet, said: “Climate change is an issue for all of us, and at easyJet, we are looking at all parts of our operation to see where we can reduce carbon emissions and reduce waste.
“We are excited to be debuting this new pilot and cabin crew uniform made from recycled plastic bottles and to introduce it for our pilots and cabin crew colleagues. We know that sustainability is an important issue for them and also for our customers.
“It is a priority for us to continue work on reducing our carbon footprint in the short term, coupled with long-term work to support the development of new technology, including zero-emission planes which aspire to reduce the carbon footprint of aviation radically.”