Emirates has recycled more than 500,000 kg of plastic and glass over the course of 2022, by collecting discarded bottles onboard for repurposing – that’s almost the same weight as a fully-loaded A380 aircraft.
The glass and plastic bottles collected by the crew after every flight lands is sent to a recycling plant in Dubai. Here, the glass is separated by colour and crushed. This ‘cullet’ or recycled glass that is ready to be re-melted is then sent to glass manufacturers in the UAE to include in their batch mix for new bottles.
The plastic bottles are cleaned, chopped into flakes, melted into pellets, and sent to manufacturers to make other plastic products. Thus, the airline prevents tonnes of glass and plastic from reaching landfills each year.
Blankets made from recycled plastic
For the last six years, Emirates has offered sustainable blankets made from recycled plastic bottles to Economy passengers on long haul flights. Each blanket is made from 28 recycled plastic bottles. The bottles are shredded into plastic chips before being turned into yarn, creating a fleece material.
The fine thread is then woven into soft blankets. Over the six years since the initiative was introduced, Emirates blankets have prevented more than 95 million plastic bottles from going to landfill.
Toys made from sustainably sourced material
The airline’s complimentary toy bags, baby amenity kits and plush toys are also made from recycled plastic bottles and other sustainable materials. Belt bags, duffle bags and backpacks are constructed from a yarn that is made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles.
Each Emirates kids’ backpack is made from 5.5 recycled plastic bottles and each duffle bag is made from seven. The production of the Emirates children’s bags has saved eight million plastic bottles from reaching landfills.