Leading air and rail operators are joining the war on plastics, with low-cost carrier Ryanair revealing a commitment to eliminate non-recyclable plastics from its services by 2023 and high-speed train operator, Eurostar, promising to halve the amount of plastics used on its trains over the next three years.
With plastic waste dominating the headlines, operators within the travel industry were poised to discover how to transition to recyclable and sustainable materials onboard at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) due to take place from April 10th to 12th in Hamburg, Germany.
With an increasing pressure on the industry to rise to the challenge of reducing plastic use to become more sustainable, travel operators are also tasked with assessing the packaging needs in response to the changing consumption trends onboard. Highlighting the evolving challenges and demands from the next generation of passengers, Ariane van Mancius, Owner, Now New Next will take to the stage at the WTCE Taste of Travel Theatre, in association with Onboard Hospitality, to offer insights into Generation Y and how their interest in local produce, health and sustainability will play an increasingly important role to the packaging used onboard.
Speaking about the role of packaging, Ariane said: “Packaging is very important to the food and drink served onboard. It is the only industry where packaging is leading over content. It starts with the packaging and is followed by the rest.”
Ariane’s session will explore the importance of social media and why attractive packaging is key to capture the attention of millennials and Generation Y who favour brighter colours and increasingly engage with brands that are easily instragramable. The session will challenge attendees to consider the neo-food movement and the power given to all passengers no matter what class or operator they choose to travel with.
A second Taste of Travel session will see five exhibitors present their innovative packaging designs, judged by a panel of industry experts. The session will provide an opportunity for brands to reveal why their packaging is ideal for use onboard, grabbing the attention of passengers and meeting new packaging trends.
Speaking about the focus on packaging, Archana Sharma, Event Director, WTCE said: “Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed an incremental increase in visitors interested in packaging materials suitable for use onboard and expect this to take a significant leap this year in response to consumer and expected Government pressures. With the recent announcements made by Ryanair and Eurostar, we hope to see more of our attendees exploring how alternative materials available can help air, rail and cruise operators become more sustainable. Between our Taste of Travel programme and products to explore on the show floor, we look forward to seeing how the industry responds to this ongoing challenge.”