Air France-KLM aims to minimize waste generation and to recycle and reprocess whenever possible throughout the supply chain. These actions follow the 4R principle: Redesign, Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle.
Air France: 100% of non-hazardous waste and 60% of hazardous waste recovered
KLM: 100% waste recycling and recovery
Onboard catering produces about 70% of all non-hazardous waste.
The key to managing this onboard waste sustainably is through preventing waste by redesign and by separating the waste correctly. At Air France a significant proportion of reusable equipment, like trays, drawers, blankets and trolleys, is recycled every year. Items designed with eco-design approaches, which take the entire life cycle of products into account, are favored.
On all KLM European flights, onboard waste is separated with cup-collecting compartments in trolleys. Glass, cans, aluminum lids and PET bottles are also separated when collected, and recycled.
Due to regulations, food waste generated by intercontinental air transport has to be incinerated and is used to produce energy.
Aircraft parts and metals
A proportion of the maintenance waste is re-used to manufacture new parts. Where possible the principle of cradle-to-cradle is applied to bring waste back into a new production cycle with the goal of streamlining and controlling all technical waste flows.
Air France and KLM work with various partners to promote the circular economy and to identify wider potential scope for recycling.
Air France and KLM are also working on initiatives to upcycle waste into new uses. At Air France, re-useable components like medical equipment are recovered from out-of-date on-board survival kits. Outdated life vests are used to manufacture travel amenity bags and kits. KLM uniforms and old Business class carpeting were recycled into fibers used to manufacture the carpets for the New World Business Class.