Airline Recycling Report


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Airline passengers create 881 million pounds of waste per year (half of it in-flight), and much of it is not recycled.  In What Goes Up Must Come Down, The Sorry State of Recycling in the Airline Industry, Green America ranks 11 major airlines on their recycling efforts and offers actions the industry can take to improve recycling overall.  We also offer actions that airline passengers can take to improve recycling.

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  • Second, help us with our research.  If there’s one most-important thing we learned while researching our report, it’s that what the airlines say they’re doing and what passengers experience on their flight are not always the same thing.  That’s why we’re collecting the experiences of airline passengers over the next year. The next time you fly, please ask the flight attendant what waste will be recycled.  If the flight attendant confidently tells you that one or more items will be recycled, thank the airline for its efforts!  If not, or if the flight attendant doesn’t know, politely explain that you’ll be recycling your own items at your destination.  Either way, we want to know about your experience, so please complete our quick survey.