Middle Eastern carrier Emirates is embarking on a recycling initiative to re-use plastic catering equipment through a local facility.
Emirates says the initiative will cover old or damaged plastic trays, meal dishes, bowls and other utensils.
They will be brought into a ‘closed-loop’ system through which they are recycled into similar ready-to-use equipment for on-board catering.
Emirates says it will introduce the utensils to its passenger service from this month.
“The new initiative is a transition to the principles of a circular economy, whereby items are reduced, reused, and recycled,” the Dubai-based carrier states.
It says “millions” of meal-service items will be collected, washed, and then transported to a facility to be ground down and reprocessed into new trays and dishes.
The items would otherwise have been written off, adds Emirates. The new equipment will contain up to 25% of recycled material. Emirates is co-operating with sustainability specialist DeSter, which has a facility in the United Arab Emirates capable of handling the airline’s requirements, avoiding the cost of overseas transport.