Inflight Waste & Recycling

Since we started sorting, reusing and recycling inflight waste in 2006, our cabin crew has continued their efforts to reduce waste from our inflight operations. We work with the Inflight Services Department to look for ways to improve recycling on board. We will continue to find ways of working around the various limitations including storage space, tight flight schedules and procedures and service quality to improve on our inflight waste management, as we know this is recognised as one of our customers’ key concerns.

One of the comments in this year’s focus groups was that inflight recycling is only carried out on inbound flights to Hong Kong but not on outbound flights. We are limited by regulations in our destination countries where they prohibit the disposal of waste from international flights, and hence we are unable to store the waste for the return flight for hygiene and storage reasons. However, we will work with the local authorities where we can to examine ways of treating waste at these destinations.

In 2011, we recycled 18,630 kg of plastic cups, 34,492 kg of plastic bottles, 29,850 kg of aluminium cans on Cathay Pacific inbound flights to Hong Kong. Similarly, 20,077 kg of plastic bottles and 1,868 kg of aluminium cans were recycled on Dragonair flights.

In the last quarter of this year, we started collecting glass bottles from Cathay Pacific inbound flights to Hong Kong for recycling, which amounted to over 410,000 wine glass bottles between September and December, equivalent to 164 tonnes in weight.

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