Introduction of "wooden cutlery" and "paper straws" for in-flight use


Introduction of eco-friendly cutlery and straws

As part of ANA Group's initiatives to reduce the use of disposable plastics, we will change the cutlery provided to customers on board to wooden cutlery and straws to paper straws.

More user-friendly wooden cutlery

ANA Group has been replacing plastic cutlery with wooden cutlery since April 2020, and now we have renewed the wooden cutlery, which is more durable and can be supplied stably. The set includes a wooden spork which is a combined spoon and fork, a knife, a toothpick, and a paper napkin made of bamboo, and has been available since September 2021. This is the first in-flight service item with the "ANA Future Promise" logo printed on it.
In order to make it smoother to the touch, the polishing time has been extended to 90 minutes, twice as long as before, and the material has been made thicker to increase its strength.
Wooden cutlery will be provided for Western meals that are not served with tableware on domestic flights (premium class) , and boxed meals on international flights on routes such as Tokyo-Sydney and Tokyo-Vancouver.
The introduction of this new wooden cutlery will help reduce the use of disposable plastics by approximately 6 tons (based on FY2019 results) .

Photo of a set of box meal and newly introduced wooden cutlery

A set of box meal and newly introduced wooden cutlery

De-plasticizing and changing to paper straws

ANA Group has been using bioplastic straws since May 2020, but in July 2021, we introduced new straws made of paper, which reduces the use of plastics and is also environmentally friendly. We use materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Considering the weakness of paper, this product is resistant to tearing and also complies with the Food Sanitation Law. With the introduction of these new paper straws, we are helping to reduce the use of disposable plastics by approximately 3 tons (based on FY2019 results) .

Photo of a bioplastic straw and a newly introduced paper straw

Above:Bioplastic straw Below:Newly introduced paper straw

  • * We are also gradually changing the lids for paper cups from plastic to paper.
Photo of paper lids for paper cups

Paper lids for paper cups

Let's see how strong the wooden cutlery and paper straws are!

Wooden Cutlery

Let's see how strong the wooden cutlery is!

This is a short video without audio of cutting steak and fish with wooden cutlery to show it is strong enough to cut.

Paper Straw

Let's see how strong the paper straw is!

This is a short video without audio showing that there is only little change in the strength of a paper straw after it has been immersed in water for 20 minutes.

Interview with the person in charge

Interview with Ms. Sato from the Products & Service Planning Department, ANA Customer Experience Management and Planning, who was involved in the introduction of wooden cutlery and paper straws!

Photo of Ms. Sato from the Products & Service Planning Department, ANA Customer Experience Management and Planning

Ms. Sato from the Products & Service Planning Department, ANA Customer Experience Management and Planning

Q: Please tell us how you renewed the wooden cutlery and developed the paper straws!

As for cutlery, we have received requests for spoons from customers with physical disabilities and customers with children, so we decided to change the fork to a spork (split end spoon) to make it easier for all customers to use. Since it functions as both a spoon and a fork, it is expected to improve convenience.
We also asked a third-party organization to verify the strength of the fork, which is limited by the fact that it is made of wood, and introduced a fork that is more resistant to breakage. The use of spokes instead of forks distributes the pressure applied during use, making it less likely to break compared to conventional products.
Since straws go into the mouth for a longer period of time, we strictly checked the safety of the product. We also checked the mouthfeel of the straws by comparing them with other companies' products, and verified their water resistance by soaking them in hot water for a long time.
Unlike plastic products, paper straws break when bent due to the nature of paper, so we selected a short straw to fit the size of the paper cups in the plane. Paper cups in the airplane are smaller than those on the market, so we looked for a size that would fit.

Q: What were the main points you focused on in the design?

We have added a silhouette design that shows the contents of the cutlery even when it is packaged.
In addition, the "ANA Future Promise" logo has been printed on the product to inform customers that the product is environmentally friendly. The "ANA Future Promise" logo expresses the image of gently supporting the earth with our hands. The words "Future" and "Promise" express the ANA Group's commitment to the future.

Q: What kind of environmental initiatives do you plan to take in the future?

We are considering about changing the garbage bags and other items used in the aircraft to products made of environmentally friendly materials. This is expected to significantly reduce the amount of disposable plastics used in the cabin.
When we introduce new items in the future, we will continue to develop and select materials based on a strict evaluation of both customer convenience and environmental protection.
We want to make sure that we do what we can one by one, while keeping a sense of speed in our efforts for environmental conservation.

Column: Accelerating our efforts to eliminate plastics

As of October 31, 2021, we will no longer provide plastic bags for baggage packing on both international and domestic flights.
This initiative will help reduce the amount of plastics used by approximately 94 tons* per year.
Passengers who wish to pack their baggage are requested to pack it adequately beforehand by themselves. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in our efforts to protect the environment.

  • * Approximately 1.96 million plastic bags (based on actual use in FY2019)

ANA Group will continue its efforts to reduce the amount of plastics used.