July 8 2024  |  Partnerships, Collaborations & Acquisitions

IATA and ASF collaborate on standard Cabin Waste Composition Audit Program

By PAX International Magazine Staff

IATA and ASF collaborate on Cabin Waste Composition Audit

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced a collaboration with the Aviation Sustainability Forum (ASF) to launch a standardized Cabin Waste Composition Audit (CWCA). The ASF Cabin Waste Composition Auditing Platform will launch in September.

CWCA audits have been trialed in two waves, covering 25 flights (short, medium, and long-haul) at Singapore’s Changi Airport in November 2023 and April of this year, the July 4 press release said. ASF conducted the audits based on a methodology developed by IATA.

Preliminary results indicate the sector is generating more than 3.6 million metric tonnes of cabin and catering waste annually, with food and beverage waste accounting for 65 percent. Results also showed that untouched meals account for 18 percent of all waste.

Previous IATA research identified a lack of a standardized methodology in conducting cabin waste audits and, as a result, data is not available to inform decision-making by policymakers, airlines and caterers regarding waste-related issues. The standardized audit aims to help solve these issues and enable the sector to demonstrate progress towards waste reduction and improved circularity.

“Managing and reducing waste is an important component of aviation’s overall sustainability. Obtaining standardized and comparable data regarding the composition and quantity of waste from flights will help the industry to reduce the waste it generates. Better data will also help policymakers to harmonize regulations, which in turn can help optimize the industry’s capability to sort, re-cycle and safely re-use waste that cannot be avoided. Working with ASF in developing this audit program is a significant step forward in improving the circularity of the sector,” said Marie Owens Thomsen, IATA’s Senior Vice President of Sustainability and Chief Economist.

Matt Crane, ASF’s Founder, also commented: “The ASF’s mission is to help the aviation sector reduce the levels of cabin waste generated and achieve higher levels of waste recovery and circularity. Working with IATA to develop a cabin waste composition auditing standard for the sector is a significant step forward. Effectively managing cabin waste is a challenge that can be solved with the backing of data. It is the responsibility of the sector and its regulators to come together, understand the problem and align on the needed solutions.”

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