Since we started sorting, reusing and recycling inflight waste in 2006, our cabin crew have continued their efforts to reduce waste from our inflight operations. We continue to find ways to improve our inflight waste management by working around the various limitations onboard, such as storage space, tight flight schedules and procedures, and service quality. This is recognised as one of our customers’ key concerns.
Currently our inflight recycling is only carried out on inbound flights to Hong Kong. We are constrained by regulations in our destination countries where the disposal of waste from international flights is prohibited, and we are unable to bring the waste back on return flights for hygiene and storage reasons. However, we continue to look for opportunities to work with local authorities and other carriers to examine ways of treating waste at these destinations.
At some of the ports, such as North America and Australia, there are very strict health and safety regulations on international waste in place, including those from international flights which require their ‘deep burial and landfill’, or incineration. We continue to monitor any regulatory changes in these countries which may facilitate inflight waste recycling. Cathay Pacific is part of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Cabin Waste Working Group, which aims to address airline cabin waste management issues and where member airlines share best practices and updates.
In 2016, we recycled 10,799 kg of plastic cups, 20,242 kg of plastic bottles, and 22,066 kg of aluminium cans on Cathay Pacific inbound flights to Hong Kong. Similarly, 3,826 kg of plastic bottles and 1,516 kg of aluminium cans were recycled on Cathay Dragon flights. 517,048 kg of glass bottles were collected from Cathay Pacific inbound flights to Hong Kong for recycling.
Inflight waste recycling (kg)