Melbourne Airport has committed to ensuring that all front-of-house hospitality venues and lounges will be free of single-use plastic by the end of 2021. The airport will put an end to the distribution of traditional plastic items such as single-use straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers and expanded polystyrene food and drink containers.
The airport says the majority of its front-of-house venues are already reducing plastics by switching to sustainable and recyclable options like bamboo. The new commitment will see remaining venues and lounges adopt a plastic-free stance by the end of the year, well ahead of the Victorian government’s 2023 deadline.
For example, Delaware North, which has operated a wide range of food and beverage services at the airport since 1990, says it is already seeing huge benefits after eliminating single-use plastic straws from its operations. The company estimates that since launching its ‘Last Straw’ campaign several years ago, it has prevented the use of more than 500,000 plastic straws by passengers at Melbourne Airport. It is in the process of eliminating all single-use plastic from its venues within Melbourne Airport and will complete the process by the end of 2021.
Melbourne Airport chief of aviation, Lorie Argus, said the ambition to reduce single-use plastics by the end of the year highlights the airport’s commitment to environmentally friendly practices. “While the Victorian government has mandated a ban on all single-use plastics by February 2023, Melbourne Airport will stop the purchase and distribution of single-use plastics across our front-of-house venues and lounges at the end of the year as part of our continuous improvement program around waste management. We know pollution and waste management are a major concern for travelers, so we’re proud to announce this significant step as part of our traveler experience work stream. We’re looking forward to working with our tenants to find sustainable, recyclable alternatives to single-use plastic.”