Strategies to eliminate single-use plastics in aviation

Strategies to eliminate single-use plastics in the airline industry presented

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released a report entitled “Reassessing Single-Use Plastic Products in the Airline Industry” aimed at assisting airlines, regulators and the supply chain in mitigating the environmental impacts of these products.

According to Daniela Stange, IATA Sustainability Manager, “this report provides visibility to the challenges facing the air transport industry and shows airlines’ progress and commitment towards a more cohesive approach to SUPP (single-use plastic products) reduction.”

Reducción De Plásticos En AviaciónThe paper comes in the context of negotiations to develop a Plastics Treaty, which is due to be finalized by the end of 2024. The effort seeks to enable collaborative actions across the entire air transport value chain and improve cooperation between sectors, in order to contribute more effectively to a circular economy.

The report offers strategic and practical recommendations to reduce unnecessary and problematic SUPP, divert reusable and recyclable SUPP from landfill and incineration, and implement more circular models in the airline value chain, according to AviacionOnline.

Main recommendations of the report

Key recommendations include for airlines to reduce waste at source, introduce reusable items, and improve waste management and recovery. For regulators, it advises encouraging SUPP minimization through harmonized and simple regulations, and for the supply chain, increasing public-private sector collaboration and investing significantly to implement circular economy principles.

The sectoral approach seeks not only to comply with emerging environmental regulations but also to respond to the expectations of passengers and cargo customers, who according to IATA “showed a marked interest in supporting the reduction of food and beverage choices to achieve a reduction in SUPPs,” highlighting a shift in consumer perception and demand toward more sustainable practices in aviation.


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