Malaysia Airlines, Firefly to recycle 50% airline cabin waste by 2025

Malaysia Airlines and Firefly aim to recycle and up-cycle 50% of in-flight and ground waste by 2025 onwards. - AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

Passengers on board Malaysia Airlines and Firefly can expect a more sustainable flight experience with 50% of in-flight and ground waste to be recycled and up-cycled by 2025 onwards.

Both carriers also aim to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as part of a newly launched sustainability blueprint by parent company Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG).

The MAG Sustainability Blueprint will also promote other green initiatives such as reducing overall carbon dioxide emission by 25 million kg in 2021 and reaching 50% biodegradable materials usage for in-flight operations.

MAG group chief executive officer Captain Izham Ismail said the green initiatives will drive the aviation group to be a more responsible, efficient and effective organisation.

"In a business environment where high passenger number growth rate drives fleet expansion, we strive to continuously enhance our safety and security, energy efficiency and environmental performance," he said during the launch of the blueprint in Sepang.

The recycling and upcycling of in-flight waste is monumental as experts have warned that airline cabin waste is an environmental crisis in the aviation sector.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), airlines generated around 6.7 million tons of cabin waste in 2018.

These include plastic wrappings (for pillows and blankets), juice bottles and other food packaging, just to name a few.

According to Izham, MAG is committed to providing safe and effective aviation travel solutions

"Our pledge is to promote socio-economic development and with net zero carbon emissions by 2050," Izham said.

MAG seeks to integrate sustainability through minimising environmental impacts, positively enhancing the communities it operates in, as well as ensuring safety excellence and compliance within the organisation.

According to Izham, the Covid-19 pandemic has stressed the importance of sustainability and digitalisation.

"One year into the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen the importance of having a business that is robust and sustainable, built upon a foundation of digitalisation," he said, adding that the group has been able to operate efficiently given the present circumstances.

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