Emirates recycled over 500,000 kg of plastic and glass in one year, equivalent to the weight of a fully loaded A380 aeroplane.
The airline’s sustainable practices include blankets made from recycled plastic, eco-friendly amenity kits, toys and bags made from recycled plastic, and sustainable aviation fuel.
The Recycling Process: Glass and Plastic
The recycling materials were assembled by managing waste onboard its aircraft by its cabin crew, which is responsible for dividing glass and plastic bottles. Then, it was shipped to a recycling facility in Dubai as per Emirates policy.
The glass is separated by pigment. Then, after crumbling, the formed ‘cullet’ or recycled glass is re-melted to be sent to UAE-native glass-managing plants to incorporate it in their compound for new bottles.
On the other hand, plastic bottles are washed, diced, liquefied, and shipped to factories to deliver further plastic by-products.
As a result of their massive-scale recycling program, Emirates and Emirates Flight Catering were able to redirect thousands of kilograms of glass and plastic out from landfill each year.
Emirates’ Commitment to Responsible Consumption
Responsible consumption is a key focus area for the company. It has implanted an environmental prerequisite in its supplier regulation of conduct and views the whole lifecycle of products from the design stage until their usage.
From Plastic Bottles to Warm Blankets
Emirates has been offering, for the past six years, environment-friendly coverings. They’re built from those recycled bottles and are given to Economy Class customers on long-haul flights. Per blanket, 28 recycled plastic bottles are used. From plastic flakes to yarn, it ends up in a fleece-like fabric, which is then winded into blankets.
Emirates’ mantles have prevented more than 95 million plastic bottles from going to trash yards. The airline company also stated that the whole process also reduces energy releases by about 70 percent. For it, they used recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET).
Toys and Bags Made from Recycled Plastic
Recycled plastic holds additional roles on Emirates’ aircraft as well. The airline’s plush toys, baby amenity kits, and toy bags are also created from recycled plastic bottles. Duffle bags, belt packs, and backpacks originate from a yarn made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
Each Emirates kids’ backpack uses 5.5 recycled plastic bottles. On the other hand, each duffle bag is made from seven. Eight million plastic bottles have been saved from going to landfill since the beginning of this initiative.
Eco-friendly Amenity Kits for Passengers
Emirates’ Premium Economy and Economy classes free luxury kits are made from washable kraft paper with a unique art cover printed using a non-harmful soy-based dye. Its content is assembled with environment-friendly materials – the stockings and eyeshades are created from recycled plastic (rPET), and the toothbrush is made from an assortment of wheat straw and plastic.
Likewise, the packaging used for the dental kit, socks, and eyeshades is sustainable: it is made from 90% rice paper. The wooden tea and coffee stirring utensils, retail bags, and paper straws are also produced using wood and paper from consciously-managed forests.
Sustainable Aviation Fuel: A Step Forward
In a significant step forward for the transportation company’s sustainability endeavors, Emirates just performed a trial flight with full Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in one motor of its B777-300ER aircraft.
It was the first aviation practice to be fueled by 100% SAF in the Middle East and North Africa.
It is also part of the headway to help forthcoming certification where 100% SAF is authorized for airplanes – nowadays, it is solely approved in mixes of up to 50%, along with conventional engine power.
A Company Culture that Supports Sustainability
This project was originally proposed by an environmentally-mindful cabin crew back in 2019. The recommendation appeared as part of regular webinars and occasions where the staff was offered a forum to share their thoughts and motivated to communicate visionary ideas with pivotal departments.
The suggestion was so well-received by the Emirates administration team that it was executed within weeks of being proposed.
They also conduct staff awareness campaigns on water and electricity use and have experimented with and implemented water-conserving elements on faucets across their corporate buildings.