Friday, April 26, 2013

Recycling Airplanes

The airline industry is one that produces excessive amount of material, from technology to uniforms to seat cushions, that can often go to waste quickly. Safety regulations require replacing seat covers, life vests, and other materials after a few years. Logo changes or mergers can reface many planes, uniforms, and check-in areas, overhauling tons of materials in a matter of months.

Major recycling efforts have been pioneered by several airlines, such as Delta and AirFrance-KLM. Useless fabric from seats and uniforms have been remade into bags, wallets, quilts, and even carpets. Carpets are recycled into new carpets, or when its utility has run out, is passed onto the cement industry as secondary fuel. Meal trays are remolded into cutlery, and retired aircrafts are carefully looked over for reusable parts.

There have also been philanthropic efforts by airlines such as Finnair. Old uniforms are used for cleaning up oil spills, and blankets, clothing and furniture are sent to refugee camps among others in need.
Either approach is a great step in utilizing the full life cycle of products and materials. Kudos to these airlines for leading the pack!

No comments: