June 5 2023  |  Aviation Trends

Industry leaders rally to drive circular economy in aviation

By Reedah Hayder

The “Circularity in the Air” report highlights the challenges international airlines are facing in achieving circularity

In a united effort to address the challenges of in-cabin waste (ICW) and promote sustainability in the aviation industry, the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and the Aviation Sustainability Forum (ASF) are urging stakeholders to embrace circularity.

The ASF, in particular, is calling for international governments to adopt regulatory changes that will facilitate a globally harmonized recycling and reuse protocol.

The ASF’s campaign seeks to combat the industry’s “throw-away” problem by reducing landfill waste and incineration through the development of new policies and regulatory frameworks. As part of their initiative, the WTCE and ASF have released a comprehensive report that sheds light on the barriers to achieving greater circularity in the industry.

ASF’s Founding Partner, Matt Crane, emphasized the importance of their strategic review of the ICW issue, stating in a June 2 press release, “Step-by-step, this will address the problem, identify the solutions the sector can adopt and open up our sector to the commercial and environmental benefits of a circular economy.”

The report features contributions from industry leaders who share their insights on their businesses’ sustainability efforts and the challenges they face in pursuing circularity. Among the contributors are Simon Soni, a veteran in catering and guest services for airlines such as Qatar, Etihad, and WestJet; Wayne Costigan, Partner at Global-C, a company specializing in designing, manufacturing, and delivering inflight products; June Weirich, Environmental Programme Manager at LSG Group; Gayle Twigg, Head of Service Delivery and Projects at food solutions supplierEn-Route; Melanie Berry, Director of Customer Experience at Iberia; and Polly Magraw, Event Director of WTCE.

“This report really does bring home the opportunities for circularity in aviation, and importantly how to navigate the challenges in bringing projects to life,” said Polly Magraw, Event Director of WTCE, in the same release.

“We know that carriers and their suppliers are very keen to put more initiatives in place and would find it so much easier if global regulations were harmonized to allow seamless systems across territories. Like the ASF, we believe that if airlines come together towards a common purpose, the industry will be much better placed to make true circularity happen.”

To further explore ASF’s work and learn about embracing circularity, the group’s founder, Matt Crane, will be speaking on supply chain innovation at the WTCE Taste of Travel Theatre on June 6 at 15:00.

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