Did you know?
Over 90% of most aircraft can be recycled. The members of the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association recycle over 150 aircraft a year.
Relevance to aviation
Due to international laws, not all waste generated on flights can be recycled – much of it must be destroyed for quarantine reasons – but the industry is working on ways to change this. Airlines and manufacturers work closely together to responsibly dispose of aircraft at their end-of-life. When compared to other industries, aircraft manufacturers operate relatively clean operations with limited consumption of water and CO2 emissions.
Examples of action
- Galapagos Airport’s terminal is made from 80% recycled material from the old terminal and the structure that supports the new building was constructed from recycled petroleum exploration pipes, which were recovered from the Ecuadorian Amazon.
- Nearly every major aircraft and engine manufacturer is part of the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association. These industry leaders have shown their commitment to end-of-life issues by joining and/or getting accredited by AFRA.
- Auckland Airport has worked with Air New Zealand and the New Zealand Government to implement an innovative cabin waste recycling programme that diverted over half the waste from landfill and also complies with the country’s strict quarantine laws.
- Air France-KLM is working to minimise waste throughout the supply chain with an eco-design approach.
- The Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi is working in partnership with Boeing to develop a sustainable aviation fuel production process, which creates jet fuel and supports local aquaculture.
- Changi Airport uses recycled materials in construction projects, including runways, roadways and drains.
- British Airways has put in place a recycling target of 50% at its Heathrow and Gatwick bases.
- Dublin Airport has developed a Waste Management Strategy, which aims to decrease waste production with the ultimate aim of having “Zero Waste to Landfill” at Dublin Airport.
- Gatwick Airport is building the first waste-to-energy plant in the airport sector.
- Bombardier published an environmental lifecycle analysis to demonstrate the ‘eco-design’ credentials of the new CS100 aircraft.
Learn more in the Flying in Formation report