More than 26 million single-use plastics have been removed by Tui Group airlines since last year as part of a target to abolish 40 million items by 2020.

New sustainable amenity kits are being introduced on long-haul flights this month as part of efforts by the group to reduce single-use plastics by 250 million pieces by next year.

Tui Aviation has abolished 3.7 million pieces from reducing plastic cutlery packs onboard.

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The amount of plastic coating on onboard headphones has been condensed and plastic bag wrapping from blankets replaced with a paper collar. The use of plastic bags for onboard shopping has also been discontinued.

Children’s activity kits on long-haul routes will be housed inside a paper envelope rather than a plastic wrap for more environmentally friendly waste reduction. The kits feature “eco-messaging”, encouraging them to think about how they can help reduce plastic waste whilst on their holidays.

The sustainable amenity kit is encased in a re-usable bag made from recycled plastic bottles, with one million additional pieces of single-use plastic removed.

Tui’s airlines aim to cut single-use plastics by 40 million pieces by next year, contibuting to the overall 250 million target.

Other initiatives include removing 112 million single-use plastic items from hotels, launching ‘plastic reduction guidelines’ for hotels and efforts by Tui Cruises to cut the use of plastics.

Tui Aviation in-flight services director Jill Nye said: “We have been working extremely hard to reduce plastic use on aircraft and have many other initiatives in place to reduce waste and integrate sustainable practices.

“We are proud of the progress we’ve made in the last year and continue to look at new and innovative ways for us to do much more in the future.”

She added: “At the same time as pro-actively taking steps to close the loop on single-use plastics, we are always on the look-out for sustainably sourced products which we can feature as part of our onboard retail range.

“In Germany currently and in the UK from November, we list a ‘Bracenet’ which is a bracelet created from fishing nets that have been lost or deliberately sunk into our oceans.

“These ‘ghost nets’ can float for decades in our seas and are a deadly trap for many animals and wildlife. These nets are being salvaged, cleaned and crafted into bracelets with a proportion of proceeds going to Healthy Seas Organisation.”

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