UAE - Dubai-based Emirates airline has recycled more than 500,000kg of plastic and glass in 2022. This is about the same weight of a fully loaded A380 aircraft, the carrier said.

“On board every flight that lands in Dubai, Emirates cabin crew work hard to quickly separate glass and plastic bottles, before they are sent to a recycling plant in Dubai. The glass is separated by colour and crushed. This ‘cullet’ or recycled glass that is ready to be re-melted is then sent to glass manufacturers in the UAE to include in their batch mix for new bottles. The plastic bottles are cleaned, chopped into flakes, melted into pellets, and sent to manufacturers to make other plastic products,” Emirates said on Wednesday.

The airline has managed to divert thousands of kilogrammes of glass and plastic away from landfills. The carrier implemented the recycling initiative after its cabin crew suggested it in 2019.

Blankets made from recycled plastic

Over the last six years, the airline has been offering sustainable blankets made from recycled plastic bottles to Economy passengers on long-haul flights. The blankets are made from 28 recycled plastic bottles.

“The bottles are shredded into plastic chips before being turned into yarn, creating a fleece material. The fine thread is then woven into soft blankets. Over the six years since the initiative was introduced, Emirates blankets have prevented more than 95 million plastic bottles from going to landfill. As the largest sustainable blanket programme on board in the airline industry, the manufacturing process of using recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) also reduces energy emissions by around 70 per cent,” the airline said.

Green children’s toys

The airline’s complimentary toy bags, baby amenity kits and plush toys are also made from recycled plastic bottles and other sustainable materials.

Belt bags, duffle bags and backpacks are constructed from a yarn that is made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles.

“Each Emirates kids’ backpack is made from 5.5 recycled plastic bottles and each duffle bag is made from seven. The production of the Emirates children’s bags has saved 8 million plastic bottles from landfill. The swing tags are made from recycled card, and even the outer cases that the products are shipped in are made from recycled card that can be recycled again.”

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