Delta unveils eco-friendly in-flight product offerings

American carrier Delta Air Lines has announced that it will be refreshing its onboard product offerings as part of its efforts to reduce its consumption of single-use plastics while also supporting women and minority-owned businesses.

Beginning this month, Delta will be introducing new artisan-made amenity kits, recycled bedding, reusable and biodegradable service ware, and premium aluminum-canned wines.

According to the carrier, this move will help reduce its onboard single-use plastic consumption by about 4.9 million pounds annually and significantly increase its support for women and minority-run businesses.

For its new Delta One amenity kits, Delta has tapped Mexican apparel brand Someone Somewhere to design a product that eliminates five single-use plastic items such as zippers and packaging, reducing plastic use by as much as 90,000 pounds per year. Someone Somewhere’s production processes also use regenerated cotton and eliminate waste. Moreover, this collaboration has helped create jobs for over 250 people in some of Mexico’s most vulnerable states.

The new amenity kits — to be launched in February of 2022 — will contain wellness-focused and sustainable items such as a Someone Somewhere eye mask, lip balm and hand lotion from Grown Alchemist, and a bamboo toothbrush from Humble Co. Both Grown Alchemist products will shift to aluminum packaging by April of this year.

Last December, Delta began rolling out new recycled polyester bedding for its Delta One cabin. The bedding sets are made with over 100 recycled plastic bottles and are wrapped in reusable packaging. The new sets will help reduce single-use plastic use by 260,000 pounds per year.

Delta has also started overhauling its service ware, replacing products made of plastic with those made of natural and recycled materials. When completed, this transition will help reduce the airline’s annual plastic use by about 4.3 million pounds.

The airline now uses bamboo cutlery for packaged meals on domestic first class as well as select international flights. Later this year, all international economy class passengers will begin using dishware made from biodegradable materials, bamboo cutlery, and a premium paper placemat.

Delta will also start serving premium aluminum-canned wines by Imagery Estate Winery on select coast-to-coast flights this month, and on all domestic flights later this year.

Imagery Estate Winery is a Sonoma-based winery founded by Jamie Benziger. In 2019, Benziger was awarded Best Winemaker at the International Women’s Wine Competition and was included in Wine Enthusiast’s 40 Under 40 list.

“Decisions we make on every aspect of our product are opportunities to make good on two core promises: to deliver exceptional customer experiences and build a better future for people and our planet,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s EVP and Chief Customer Experience Officer. “These latest additions deliver something unique to our customers, reduce our environmental impact and enable job creation for the communities we serve around the world.”

Delta says it has deepened its relationship with suppliers in key markets in the past year, allowing it to offer more locally sourced menu items, a new seasonally-inspired lineup of beverages from the first US black-owned distillery, Du Nord Social Spirits, and 100% women-made champagne and sparkling wine from Une Femme.

“Delta has always put people at the center of everything we do,” said Amelia Deluca, Delta’s VP of Sustainability. “It’s this people-first focus that led Delta to source new products onboard that reduce waste, bolster diverse suppliers, and build communities. We want to protect our planet and the people on it, and the products we provide onboard are the latest way we’re living out this commitment.”

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