Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - INBOX YOUR LETTERS -

After read­ing Robert Cur­ley’s ar­ti­cle “Amer­i­can Air­lines to re­place plas­tic straws with greener sub­sti­tutes”, pub­lished on July 14 at busi­nesstrav­, I hope this move to re­place plas­tic straws will in­cite more mea­sures to mod­er­ate thought­less plas­tic waste gen­er­ated by air­lines.

Aside from be­ing bad for the en­vi­ron­ment, the costs of man­u­fac­tur­ing, pack­ag­ing and trans­porta­tion to land­fill or re­cy­cling all in­cur higher ticket prices. Do canned and bot­tled drinks re­ally need to come with a plas­tic glass to be poured into (un­less those bev­er­ages need to be fur­ther chilled on ice)? Is there a health risk from drink­ing di­rectly from the lip of a can or bot­tle after be­ing han­dled by serv­ing staff ?

Worse still are the un­used plas­tic knives and forks in sealed en­velopes that au­to­mat­i­cally come with fin­ger foods such as sand­wiches and brown­ies. I have yet to see any­one cut their cold, bite-sized snacks with these re­dun­dant im­ple­ments.

Con­ve­nience is a poor ex­cuse for hand­ing out a range of un­nec­es­sary din­ing im­ple­ments to all pas­sen­gers just to sat­isfy the odd pas­sen­ger who de­mands a set (for God knows what rea­son).

On that note – can we look at the con­tent of these snacks, too? On a re­cent 11am flight from Bris­bane to Mel­bourne (land­ing at 1.25pm) the only choice was a packet of Kez’s Kitchen “baked bikkie bites”. With di­a­betes and obe­sity on the rise, Qan­tas is per­pet­u­at­ing un­healthy di­etary habits to im­pres­sion­able youths like the large boy who sat next to me and ate his bis­cuits with hun­gry vigour.

It’s these youths who surely will ma­ture into bur­geon­ing adults with spilling girths who in­vade the miserly space avail­able to the rest of us. So I’d also like to see more non-sug­ary and low-fat op­tions for the high prices we pay to board the Fly­ing Kan­ga­roo.

Joseph Ting, Aus­tralia

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