The aviation industry has long been seen as the world champion of global warming. Notwithstanding efforts and reports from
IATA, the evolution of aircraft with more fuelefficient engines and better quality standards, the idea that flying should be either reduced or offset is still suggested by many in the media. This would cause significant economic issues, especially for airlines – many of which are struggling to make ends meet. Still, there is something carriers could do to reduce their carbon footprint. I have recently flown domestically in Australia with Qantas and in Europe with the Lufthansa Group. On all but one occasion, rubbish was managed improperly. Flight attendants collected everything in one bin without considerations for plastic, glass or paper.
Witnessing this made me think, “where does all this end up?” Either everything is disposed of without any recycling effort or the rubbish is separated on the ground by dedicated staff. The first would be tantamount to a public offence; the second is foolish, from both an economic and an image point of view. It is a shame that at least a bit of recycling effort is not done on-board.
While lobbying the industry is crucial and technological upgrades are needed, what is displayed in front of passengers is priceless, too, and airlines would do well to pay more attention to it. Marco Morelli, Rome
We take our environmental responsibility seriously. In 2017, more than 4,000 tonnes of waste was recycled and we’ve rolled out on-board recycling on our mainline domestic fleet. We’re looking at how we can introduce recycling on smaller regional aircraft, which are constrained by the size of the aircraft. We also partner with a charity that will collect non-perishable food items from aircraft meals to be distributed to schools and those in need.