Alaska Airlines becomes first U.S. airline to eliminate plastic cups on board

Photos by Ingrid Barrentine

Plastic cups? We sent ‘em packing. Today, we’re excited to announce the completion of our transition to paper cups for inflight beverages, a move which eliminates more than 55 million plastic cups annually and replaces them with a more planet-friendly alternative.

By partnering with Boxed Water™ and serving beverages in responsibly-sourced paper cups, we’re saving more than 2.2 million pounds of plastic from landfills a year, the equivalent weight of 24 Boeing 737s.

Here are some of the ways we’re eliminating our top sources of plastic waste on board to reduce our impact on the environment and help keep the places we live & fly beautiful:

Eliminating plastic cups on board with responsibly-sourced paper cups.

Replacing plastic water bottles with Boxed Water™. 

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Encouraging guests to #FillBeforeYouFly to plant more trees. 

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Ditching plastic straws & stir sticks in 2018. 

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All inflight beverages on Alaska flights are now served in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper cups or reusable glassware for most First-Class services. We began the process of eliminating our five largest sources of plastic waste in 2018 by removing plastic straws and stir sticks from inflight service – a first for any airline at the time. 

As part of our broader sustainability efforts, Alaska continues to pursue product innovations and supply chain advancements to achieve our 2025 goal of replacing the top five waste-producing items from onboard service and continuing to recycle. In 2021, Alaska established climate goals for its impacts in carbon, waste, and water while defining a five-part pathway to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040 to keep the places we live and fly beautiful and viable for generations to come.