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Editorial Comment


In 2011, there was a change in the attitude of airlines towards environmental awareness. The price of oil spiked and a reduction in fuel consumption was no longer about reducing CO2 emissions, it was now about saving money. Recently, there has been another shift. Sustainability is back on the agenda and, this time, it is here to stay.


How does this affect the cabin? A number of airlines have been busy removing plastic from their cabin service items. And the numbers are staggering: Lufthansa is replacing more than 400 million plastic items per year, such as cups, cutlery and swizzle sticks with more ecological alternatives; at Air France, paper cups are replacing 100 million plastic cups; at Singapore Airlines, paper straws will remove the use of about 820,000 plastic straws each year.


Others measures are being introduced. SAS has developed a more environmentally friendly dry cleaning method for seat covers, with no perchloroethylene is used in the cleaning process. aluminium cans can now be recycle on 80% of flights. The remaining 20% is due to lack of adequate waste management at some airports and this is a major hurdle as it is outside airline control.


Qantas recently carried out the first-ever commercial flight to produce no landfill waste, all inflight products disposed of via compost, reuse or recycling. This Sydney to Adelaide flight would typically produce 34kg waste, producing 150 tonnes of waste annually.


Iberia has been busy as well and we take a closer look in this issue.

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