Iberia Highlights Sustainability Initiatives On World Recycling Day
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Iberia Highlights Sustainability Initiatives On World Recycling Day

Jul 25, 2023

Iberia predicts it will reduce inflight plastic waste consumption by over 220 tons by the year end.

Iberia has released an update on its sustainability efforts as it works vigorously to reduce waste emissions wherever possible, in commemoration of world recycling day. Since starting its ongoing sustainability initiative, the airline has dramatically reduced the number of waste products it emits from carbon emissions to single-use plastics. To Iberia, this is only the beginning, as it has shared that it will not stop working to reduce its waste output until it reaches carbon and waste neutrality.

In Iberia's recent announcement, representatives for the airline shared that it has taken dramatic steps to reduce waste output from in-flight services. As part of its Zero Cabin Waste initiative, the airline recycled 43% of all waste generated onboard its flights last year, which means it recycled over 68 tons of materials.

By the end of 2023, it anticipates that it will have reduced over 220 tons of plastics through this initiative. While this number may seem ambitious, the airline has taken significant steps already by removing single-use plastic items wherever possible.

The airline has replaced plastic stirrers, straws, and cutlery with equivalent items made of paper or bamboo. Onboard blankets are no longer found in plastic bags but instead wrapped in cardboard bands. It also no longer places headphones or toiletry items in individual plastic bags. Garbage liners commonly used to collect waste items onboard have been replaced with thinner alternatives. Later this year, it plans to replace plastic cups with sustainable alternatives.

In addition to plastic reduction and recycling efforts, the airline is also working to recycle glass products.

In airport lounges, reusable glass items are used wherever possible as they offer a more sustainable alternative to aluminum and plastic. Because of this transition to glass containers, the airline reports that its lounges use one million cans and over 200,000 plastic containers fewer per year.

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Iberia is also working to establish more sustainable transportation in order to shrink its carbon footprint, mainly through optimizing its fleet with more fuel-efficient airplanes. With a fleet of over 80 aircraft, Iberia consumes a substantial amount of fuel every day. Airline executives are working to reduce carbon emissions by continuously optimizing operations and operating newer, more efficient planes.

Recently Iberia obtained several new Airbus A350s and Airbus A320neos, both designed to operate in the most fuel-efficient manner possible, giving the airline a 20-30% reduction in fuel consumption and carbon emissions. While it has obtained over two dozen fuel-efficient airliners, the airline is far from finished in its sustainability efforts as it plans to replace the rest of its aging planes with newer aircraft. Most notably, the airline plans to acquire the efficient Airbus A321XLR model within the next few years.

Iberia Comment

The Director of Customer Experience at Iberia, Melanie Berry, shared the following with Simple Flying concerning the airlines' sustainability efforts,

"At Iberia, we have a clear objective and that is to be more sustainable every day, both environmentally and socially, and these initiatives show that we are on the right track, but there is still room for improvement."

What do you think of Iberia's waste reduction efforts? Let us know in the comments below.

Journalist - Studying to become an airline pilot, Riley has a lifelong passion for aviation. He already has his private pilot certificate alongside an instrument rating. Based in The United States

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