Better hygiene in aircraft lavatories is within reach thanks to an automatic, non-touch waste bin lid that has been unveiled by wash basin manufacturer Schüschke.

The family-owned company in Germany's engineering heartland of Baden-Württemberg installed a capacity sensor that responds to slight electrical field changes when the user's hands or a moist towel approach the flap.

The advantage over an infrared system is that the sensor can be installed on the inside of the flap and thus does not interfere with the surface material or design. Two such waste bins are currently being tested by Lufthansa on an Airbus A340, with the airline considering to employing the system on first class lavatories across its long-haul fleet.

Schuschke WasteBin

While Schüschke is Airbus' main wash basin supplier, the manufacturer also wants to approach other airframers in future. The smart waste bin is to be further refined with an automatic "trash compactor" to avoid overflow on long-haul flights.

Source: Flight Daily News