Alaska Airlines and the Surfrider Foundation Partner to Protect Coastal Habitats and Reduce Waste From Single-Use Plastics
SEATTLE, Wash., April 4, 2023 - Alaska Airlines and the Surfrider Foundation announced today a national partnership focused on protecting coastal habitats through efforts such as reducing plastic waste and engaging employees and communities in beach cleanups across the West Coast and throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Alaska and Surfrider, both West Coast-based organizations with broad national reach, will collaborate to help protect our coastlines, expand education and awareness of the challenges that threaten our ocean, beaches and marine environments, and grow participation in beach cleanup and habitat restoration activities along the coasts.
"As a West Coast-based airline, we appreciate the role that our ocean and coasts play in our communities – beautiful places to enjoy, but also a critical part of natural ecosystems and local culture and livelihoods," said Scott Coughlan, director of sustainability at Alaska Airlines. "We're committed to being part of a positive future for these critical places which is why we've set goals for our company to reduce waste and have made significant progress in the last few years to reduce single-use plastic on our flights."
Coughlan continued: "We are inspired by Surfrider's grounding in both inspiration and joy in the natural world and in the science about what will keep our ocean and coastal habitats healthy for the long term. The Surfrider team truly walks the talk, rolling up their sleeves to clean up beaches and other impacted areas. We are excited to share our passion for bringing people together, and for sustainability, to partner on this journey."
Launching this Earth Month, Alaska and Surfrider will organize a series of events to invite Alaska employees and members of our West Coast communities, including California, Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest, to clean up beaches through Surfrider's extensive network of grassroots leaders and volunteers. They will also work together on ongoing cleanup and restoration projects and collaborate on education and advocacy to support the reduction of single-use plastics.
"The Surfrider Foundation is proud to partner with Alaska Airlines, which has been a leader in reducing single-use plastics in air travel," said Surfrider's CEO Dr. Chad Nelsen. "Starting in 2018 with the elimination of straws, they are now encouraging their passengers to use reusables and #fillbeforeyoufly, while also eliminating plastic cups. We are excited to extend their commitment to reduce plastic pollution to coastal communities through cleanups and local education."
Since 1984, the Surfrider Foundation has been working to protect and preserve the world's ocean, waves and beaches for all people through a powerful activist network. It started as a group of surfers that came together to protect the beaches in Malibu, California and has grown into one of the largest coastal protection groups in the world.
Alaska is the first airline to eliminate plastic water bottles, cups, straws, stir sticks and citrus picks from inflight service, annually reducing more than 2.2 million pounds of plastic waste. Alaska has set voluntary sustainability goals for reducing its environmental impact in carbon, waste, and water – including replacing the top five waste-producing items in onboard service by 2025 – and balancing its water footprint through habitat restoration projects. While Alaska takes steps to eliminate plastics, it also encourages guests to join in reducing waste by bringing their own water bottles to #FillBeforeYouFly.
Alaska Airlines and our regional partners serve more than 120 destinations across the United States, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. We strive to be the most caring airline with award-winning customer service and an industry-leading loyalty program. As a member of the oneworld alliance, and with our additional global partners, our guests can travel to more than 1,000 destinations on more than 25 airlines while earning and redeeming miles on flights to locations around the world. Learn more about Alaska at news.alaskaair.com and follow @alaskaairnews for news and stories. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group.
The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s ocean, waves and beaches for all people through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains more than a million supporters, activists and members, with over 200 volunteer-led chapters and student clubs in the U.S., and more than 800 victories protecting our coasts. Learn more at surfrider.org.