Just a quick rant, and then I'll be on my way.
I took a flight on Continental Airlines yesterday. Since I recently made a personal commitment to avoiding single-use plastic as much as possible, I bring my stainless-steel water bottle with me whenever I fly. After I clear security, I fill it up from a water fountain and bring it with me on the plane. (The importance of which, I realize, pales in comparison to the carbon emissions for which I'm responsible by flying. But on with the story.)
Yesterday I forgot the water-fountain bit, so when the beverage cart came around, I asked the flight attendant to pour some water directly into my bottle instead of giving me a plastic cup. She refused, saying that the plastic water bottle might touch my steel bottle, which could spread germs.
Oh, come now, Continental! Your flight attendants are trained in numerous processes, many of which involve a fairly high level of dexterity. I have full confidence that they can pour water from one vessel into another without the twain touching. Attendants on other airlines I've flown have had no problem with it.
As I tried to lull the prickles of rage that crept up the back of my neck, I was reminded of the fact that Green America has just published a report on the sorry state of recycling in the airline industry. It states that nearly 500 million more tons of airline waste could be recycled each year than currently is being recycled; 250 million tons of that is generated in flight.
And according to the report, no airline recycles all the main candidates (aluminum, glass, paper, plastic), and no airline reports on how it's progressing in its recycling goals. Continental ranks fifth in a list of 11 carriers, with a grade of D (the highest score was a B-, awarded to Delta).
Now, recycling is fine, but even better is reducing, so I'm pretty disappointed that Continental refuses to take this small, easy step.
Have you had similar green-stymieing experiences while flying? Leave a comment below.