American Airlines slashes plastic waste again

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American Airlines Cargo says it reduced long-term plastic waste by more than 150,000 lbs, the equivalent of 8.6 million water bottles, in 2023. This is a result of a continued relationship with M&G Packaging and its BioNatur line of biodegradable plastic products for air cargo.

The carrier began transitioning to BioNatur Plastics products at major US hubs in early 2022, reducing long-term plastic waste by the equivalent of 6.4 million water bottles in the first year. In 2023, American expanded its use of the biodegradable products to include regional domestic stations, such as Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Honolulu International and Minneapolis-Saint Paul, as well as Carrasco International Airport and Santiago International in Latin America.

American plans to continue replacing traditional plastic used for stretch wrap and pallet covers with BioNatur products, which contains an organic, food-safe additive that allows anaerobic bacteria to digest the plastic in a landfill. Outside of a landfill, the plastic has an indefinite shelf life and performs exactly like traditional plastic.

Regular plastic can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade in a landfill. BioNatur plastics will biodegrade under landfill conditions in only 8 to 12 years. The end products are fully recyclable in normal waste collection streams, and with added strength, can be used more thinly, minimizing plastic use.

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