May 02, 2023

How Emirates Is Closing The Loop By Recycling Onboard Waste

The carrier has taken major steps when it comes to recycling.

Emirates Airlines has partnered with deSter as part of the airline's new closed-loop recycling initiative, an initiative to give a new life to in-flight service items. All products are made with recycled plastic materials from Emirates flights. Let's have a look at the new closed-loop recycling initiative.

Eager to highlight its green credentials, Emirates announced that its plans to recycle millions of onboard items would be recycled and remade into ready-to-use Emirates meal service products. Onboard every Emirates flight, the cabin crew will collect damaged meal service items from Economy and Premium Economy Class dining to be unloaded in Dubai and then sent to a local recycling plant.

These items will then be reprocessed and manufactured into new dishes, bowls, and trays before being sent to Emirates Flight Catering to be reused for thousands of inflight meals. The new meal service items, containing at least 25% reused material, will be found on aircraft across the globe.

Furthermore, in honor of United Nations World Environment Day on June 5th, Emirates will introduce new recycled utensils from June 2023 onwards.

Consuming responsibly is a central environmental focus area for Emirates, which considers the entire lifecycle of products from design and has included an environmental requirement in the supplier code of conduct. The new initiative is a shift toward the principles of a circular economy, where products are reduced and recycled.

Emirates Cabin Crew recycled over 500,000 kilograms (1.1 million pounds) of plastic and glass in 2022. This weight is almost identical to one of the airline's Airbus A380 aircraft.

In addition to the airline's onboard waste recycling initiative, Emirates has multiple other initiatives involving utilizing sustainable materials or repurposing plastic. For example, inflight bags, wooden tea and coffee stirrers, and paper straws are made from paper and wood from forests that are responsibly managed.

Since 2017, blankets for the Economy and Premium Economy Class have been made from recycled plastic bottles. Each blanket is manufactured from 28 recycled plastic bottles, and the initiative saves 88 million plastic bottles from landfill each year.

Emirate's green initiatives do not just include recycling bottles and plastic. The amenity kits in premium economy and economy class are also part of the carrier's sustainable initiatives. These amenity kits are made from washable kraft paper, rice paper, and recycled plastic and include travel essentials made from environmentally friendly materials.

The airline's complementary toy bags, plush toys, and baby amenity kits are produced from sustainable materials. Duffle bags, backpacks, and belt bags given to Emirate's youngest passengers are created using a year made from recycled plastic bottles.

Every Emirates duffle bag is made from seven recycled plastic bottles, while each kid's backpack is created from five recycled plastic bottles. These bags have saved over eight million plastic bottles from becoming landfill.

In a world where environmental issues are a major concern for society, Emirates' sustainability efforts set a new standard for other airlines to strive for. By doing its part in saving the planet, Emirates is saving substantial amounts of plastic entering landfills and is an example of how other airlines can increase their green efforts.

With the launch of onboard sustainable initiatives and the development of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), the airline industry is certainly doing its part in saving the planet. With that said, lots of work still needs to be done.

Do you think the airline industry is putting enough effort into recycling? Let us know in the comments.

Joshua Kupietzky has a passion for aviation and deep expertise in the aviation industry. He's been enamored with the facts and figures of the airline industry, and the details of the make and model of commercial aircraft for as long as he can remember. Based in Chicago, US.

SIMPLEFLYING VIDEO OF THE DAY SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT Do you think the airline industry is putting enough effort into recycling? Let us know in the comments.