Life + Zero Cabin Waste combines Iberia, Ecoembes, Gourmet Gate, Ferrovial, Biogas Fuel and ESCI-UPF to improve the recycling of waste from airlines

This pioneering project in the sector aims to recover 80 percent of the waste generated in aircraft cabins

Madrid, December 19th, 2016

Iberia, Ecoembes, Gourmet Gate, Ferrovial, Biogas Fuel Cell (BFC) and ESCI-UPF have joined forces to launch the “Life + Zero Cabin Waste” project to improve recycling of both recyclable and organic waste, procedures for flights of international airlines.

“Life + Zero Cabin Waste” is a pioneering project in the air sector and has a duration of 40 months with different phases:

  • In the first phase, already underway, Ecoembes is analyzing the waste that arrives from different flights from Iberia to the Madrid airport to know the characteristics of the different waste streams and propose a comprehensive management model that includes their reduction, reuse and recycling.

  • In a second phase, Iberia will introduce some special trolleys to facilitate the separation and recycling of this waste, while Gate Gourmet, Iberia’s service provider, will incorporate a specific line to improve the segregation of different types of waste in facilities of the Madrid airport. Ferrovial will be in charge of the transport and recycling of the material in its plant.

  • In a third phase, BFC will be responsible for the treatment of organic waste.

  • The ESCI-UPF UNESCO Chair in the Cycle of Life and Climate Change, through the Life Cycle Analysis and Ecodesign Methodologies, will evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed measures to reduce the carbon footprint associated with the management of the waste.

  • Finally, the project includes the application of this model at the London Heathrow airport, in addition to the development of a guide with guidelines on the management of airline supply waste in collaboration with the competent authorities of the European Union.

Rafael Jiménez Hoyos, Director of Production of Iberia, states: “Iberia’s participation in” Life + Zero Cabin Waste “is an example of our commitment to the sustainable development of our operations and the protection of the environment, cornerstones of our CSR Policy “. ”

Rosa Trigo, Technical and Innovation Director of Ecoembes, said: “With this project we are going to take another step in our goal of bringing recycling to the citizen, beyond the home. In addition, from Ecoembes, we will contribute to the dissemination of results, to achieve the replication of the model.”

José Antonio García García, Director of the Center for Environmental Management and Treatment of Ferrovial Services, has indicated that this project is perfectly aligned with our sustainability objectives and fostering innovation in waste treatment. The potential of this initiative is enormous at an environmental level and an economic level due to the significant volume of flights affected by the project and the possibility of being able to implant its principles in other parts of the world.

Marcos Diaz, Managing Director of BFC, added that “the project is in line with the European Union’s waste management purposes, promoting the concept of circular economy by considering waste as a new resource and not as a problem.”

Dr. Pere Fullana i Palmer, director of the ESCI-UPF UNESCO Chair, says: “The collaboration in this important consortium and the relevance of the future results of the project advances our mission to reduce the environmental impact at the national level and international, improving the competitiveness of our business sector.”

Among the objectives of “Life + Zero Cabin Waste” is the reduction of waste from the catering service through changes in the design of menus that are served in the aircraft and the recovery of 80 per cent of the waste generated in the cabin of their flights. The separation of these wastes in the aircraft itself will facilitate its subsequent treatment, while at the same time lowering management costs. Life + Zero Cabin Waste is a project co-funded by the European Union, which runs until the end of 2019 and has been supported by Spanish health authorities, as well as organizations such as IATA and Aena.