Action 205: Take your own headphones on a flight

headphones Date: 24 July
Action: 205
Cost of taking action: £/$/€ FREE


Another unnecessary use of plastic can be avoided – with other advantages too

OK, we know that in the ideal world none of us would be flying at the moment, but being pragmatic about it, a lot of people will continue flying on both business and holiday trips.

So this is a small action that can help a little, but if lots of people did it it would make a real difference (like so many of our actions so far this year, it relies on a collective response).

Today’s action is – use your own headphones on a plane journey!


Why does this help?

Many airlines provide free headphones so you can plug into the entertainment system.

There are generally very cheap, plastic headphones that are used just the once and then thrown away. In addition, they are packed up (“for hygiene reasons”) in individual plastic bags, again single use.

This is a very poor use of resources, and plastic in particular. As we have described many times on this site, we have a significant plastic pollution problem, and the only way to truly address it is to drastically reduce our consumption of plastic, we cannot rely on waste disposal and recycling systems to solve the problem.

So please, if you are flying, take your own headphones with you and decline the ones offered by the cabin crew.

Other advantages

As well as reducing unnecessary plastic usage, this small action bring other advantages too:

  • your own headphones are likely to be much more comfortable than the hard plastic standard sized cheap ones
  • your own headphones are likely to give a much better quality sound
  • if you use full size headphones (“bins”) you will cut out more aircraft engine noise while listening
  • it leaves less mess for the cabin crew to deal with when passengers leave

Take action

Please pack your own headphones or earphones when you fly and reject the free ones!