Dear Air India.
I have grown up travelling the country and the world with Air India.
Since I was a child, I have extensively travelled Air India, occasionally first class and most times business and economy.
Last week, after a very long time I had the opportunity to travel Air India again, and I must say I was not quite looking forward to the experience. Except for a few instances, I have almost always had a terrible experience with AI. And this time too, I was unhappy as soon as I stepped on board with the very crampled cabin staff, untidy seats on the A321 fleet, and an overall bad flight.
This time, fortunately, I was flying economy. I say fortunately because it gave me the chance to notice something I'd like to bring to your attention.
I noticed that in the economy class you have now moved to Single-use plastic cups (for tea and coffee) and dessert bowls. Also a continued use of single-use plastic cutlery and tea stirrers.
Now, as you are undoubtedly aware, there are several global movements underway to restrict and ban the use of single-use plastic.
Only a very small percentage of single-use plastic is recycled, creating a waste problem that we as a species are unable to control or tackle, and are only consistently adding to. This plastic is not biodegradable, which means the waste promises to be around for hundreds of years. A very serious problem that isn't just ours alone, but thrust by us onto generations to come.
Not to mention, the price of a huge carbon footprint behind it, that we have to collectively pay.
They say the plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean is now three times the size of France. Surely, that shakes you up, as it does me.
Plastic waste ends up in the stomachs of fish, whales and other animals. And as Karma has been known to serve justice- it ends up back in our bodies in various ways - giving rise to many epidemics and diseases. Including cancer.
Also, the toxins it exudes into food or drink, leading to hormonal imbalances and cancers.
And of course, single-use plastic boasts of largely contributing towards the ecological imbalance, leading to impending natural calamities and the two most horrific words confronting our survival- 'global warming'.
So much has been written and said about the threat to our planet due to single use plastic waste, that surely I do not need to be the one to empirically inform you what this costs not you or me alone, but our planet.
As the National Carrier, I believe you have a moral responsibility to not just participate, but in fact pioneer an effort towards reducing plastic waste.
I understand yours is a business enterprise, and costs and profitability must be taken into account. However, you are the National Carrier, and Welfare is and always has been the priority of India's public sector; not just profit.
The amount of plastic waste you must generate every single day, from every one of your flights, per sector, is unfathomable! It is extremely reckless and irresponsible, towards the planet.
I strongly urge you to please switch to bio-degradable cups, bowls and cutlery. There are several options available today that are not only cost effective, but will in turn help you reduce your costs by means of recycling your own trash!
It is not just a requirement you reduce your ecological footprint, but a responsibility.
I most certainly hope to see action. Air-India holds a very dear place in the hearts of every citizen of the country - and it'd give us each a great deal of happiness and pride to have our National Carrier being sensitive towards an issue that concerns us all, as a species.
So this here, is my appeal.