• | 11:27 am

Emirates to keep 150 million plastic items out of landfills in 2022

The airline has also switched to digital menus for cutting down paper consumption by 44 tons a month.

[Source photo: Illustrator/Venkat]

Waste equivalent to almost 34000 plastic bottles is thrown into the Mediterranean sea every minute. The Middle East generated 150 million tons of urban waste every year until 2020. Over the years, initiatives to cut down consumption of single-use plastic, recycle used electronic items and convert waste into energy have been launched.

 Among those leading the way toward change, Emirates is on track to keep 150 million items of single-use plastic items away from landfills by the end of the year from its green initiatives. Its green initiatives include replacing plastic straws and stirrers with wooden alternatives and making blankets from recycled material. Amenity kits for the passengers are also made from washable paper, and the travel essentials are produced from eco-friendly materials. 

Every in-flight item drives sustainability, from dental kits made of rice paper and toothbrushes made of wheat straw to eyeshades and socks made from recycled polythene. Toys and products for children are made of repurposed plastic, while cardboard is reprocessed to make swing tags. Safety of the children and sustainability is ensured with soy-based inks for printing.

 To cut down paper use by 44 tons a month, Emirates has switched to digital menus that passengers can view on their smartphones. Taking its eco-friendly drive onto the runway, the airline has also initiated trials for an electric bus, which can run for 100 kilometers on a single charge. Solar electricity is being generated for Emirates’ facilities such as its engine maintenance center, flight catering unit, and the Emirates Seven Stadium to cut emissions further.

Apart from Emirates, the Dubai Airport has launched a food waste management program to divert 60% of its waste out of landfills.

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