Emirates has announced that it managed to recycle more than 500,000 kilograms (kg) of plastic and glass throughout 2022, an amount that is almost equal to a fully loaded Airbus A380 aircraft.
According to the airline, following every flight that lands at Dubai International Airport (DXB), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), cabin crew “work hard” to separate glass and plastic bottles, which are then sent to a local recycling facility. There, the glass bottles are separated by color and crushed, before being sent to UAE-based bottle manufacturers to be included in batch mixes for newly manufactured bottles. Meanwhile, plastic bottles “are cleaned, chopped into flakes, melted into pellets, and sent to manufacturers to make other plastic products”, the airline noted in its press release.
Emirates and Emirates Flight Catering “divert thousands of kilograms of glass and plastic away from landfill each year”, the statement continued.
The recycling initiative was proposed by cabin crew during the 2019 edition of the airline’s regular event and webinar sessions, where staff are encouraged to provide departments with feedback and suggestions. The idea, which was “well-received”, was implemented within weeks.
According to Airbus’ airport and maintenance planning file for the A380, the Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) ranges between 480,000 kg and 575,000 kg. The Maximum Zero Fuel Weight (MZFW), which is the weight of the aircraft without any fuel or oil, is between 361,000 kg and 373,000 kg, depending on the configuration.
Emirates, which owns 119 Airbus A380 aircraft, per planespotter.net data, recently operated a test flight running on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The 42-minute flight was operated by a Boeing 777-3000ER on January 30, 2023.