Origin of this project:
Almost each airline worldwide offers plastic cutlery on certain routes in their network. Whether that is just the cutlery, or packed with a toothpick, chopsticks or whatever – it is a known fact products like these are overall available.
With the grown awareness that something needs to be done about pollution and the impact on the environment needs to be kept at a minimum, the European Union decided to ban all single-use-plastics on board of aircraft in 2021. That is why the project is called Project 2021. Not long before that decision and immediately after – many suppliers started developing alternative options.
Already end of 2018 we started this project and we succeeded in presenting the first prototypes during the 2019 WTCE in Hamburg. What this project is, and what the product can do, is something we already described in the previous RFP. In very simple words: We already have the solution for this problem. The stainless steel option is the best option, as it is a better product, it is recyclable and the production process/factory is set-up in such a way that it can handle mass volumes.
Kindly ask you to check the following link for more in depth information:
What is this product not?
The nature of the product is NOT to replace plastic as the raw material itself. That is comparing apples and pears. The characteristics of the two materials is immensely different.
The whole ban on SUP’s was caused by the way it will turn out in our waste. That is where one of the biggest advantages of our option comes out best. We can write and add many articles proving plastics are very difficult to dispose off and that they are not recyclable. Not to mention the enormous amount of energy that is needed to burn it. Plus we see many items in the news about the plastic soup floating all over the oceans. Going all through that is a waste of time, as we cannot make use of SUP-plastics anymore in future.
In stead we should focus on what IS possible, and that is our option. We also heard of bamboo, CPLA, and many other exotic raw materials, but they all have their own problems in either sustainability, production or availability. We do not comment on those item. We can only comment on what we can do.
Update on Project 2021:
Initially we developed three different designs, in order to give our clients the option to choose the style. Those designs are in the sample box again.
What we also add is 4 paper pouches filled with an Oasis-style knife, fork and spoon and napkin. The image on the left is one of the other designs, called Palm. The pouch is made from recycled paper, and it can have your logo on the packing. This is one of the updates we have on this project.
The second update is that we can add other items like toothpicks, chopsticks and we can press the logo in the napkin. Please see the example we put in the box we made for ANA. (Please do not mind the plastic packing – this was pure to show quickly what is possible).
Hardly unnoticeable, but very important is the fork in the ANA-pack. You can see that the bowl part is slightly curved in almost a spoon-shape. This is done deliberately to strengthen the fork. The product itself if very light and the material is only 0.5 mm thin, so we needed to strengthen the bowl part of the fork and this is how it turned out.
Changing a product is somewhat of a task to put on your shoulders. This is not just a simple article number change that can be done overnight. It requires the involvement of all the catering stations and since we are in the middle of COVID, that is an issue we are facing. However, it is possible. The stations are not running in full speed, so we can start this project slowly and make sure the volumes are there, when we have seen the end of this pandemic.
This project got started with an European ban on plastics. The US is not part of the E.U. – but since you fly back and forth Europe, you can implement this new type of product without having to have two different sets of product, just for the sake of flying with plastics. Also in the US the environment is made aware and Delta can contribute by making the choice for this product, that is fully recyclable.
You have now seen that the product is ready. Now we need to figure our how we can accomplish on getting this on board.
And before I forget to mention: this product is sanitized before it is packed. It is COVID-proof and does not need to get washed first. You can therefore also use this product as a temporarily start-up of your post-COVID-service.