Airline cabin waste costs more than money – it affects the environment and the passenger perception of the commercial aviation industry.
IATA says there are two forms of cabin waste: catering (galley) waste and cleaning waste. According to the IATA Cabin Waste Handbook published in 2019, the airline industry produced up to 5.7 million tonnes of cabin waste in 2017, costing the sector US$927 million. The report says these numbers have potential to double in the next 10 years.
But not if the Aviation Sustainability Forum (ASF) can help it.
Founded in 2019 by Matt Crane, former CEO at Monty’s Bakehouse and now Group Head – Food Solutions Global Innovation Center at SATS; Mike Pooley, formerly at gategroup; and Sarah Klatt-Walsh, previously at SWISS, British Airways and now Sustainability Lead at FORMIA, the Forum aims to solve sustainability through industry-wide collaboration. The ASF is an independent membership organization that operates as a not-for-profit.
“Sustainability was being used onboard to improve passenger perception but very little was being recovered or recycled. We had a big problem. We quickly realized that no one organization, aviation association, or governing body was going to solve the problem – it is simply too big and too complex. Everyone across the inflight supply chain has a role to play,” Crane tells PAX International in early-May. “To solve the problem of waste going to incineration or being buried in the ground ever year, we had to stop sustainability from being used for competitive advantage and work together to solve the problem through collaborative advantage.”
Crane says the Forum has “strong support” from IATA and the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and is fostering relationships with the Airports Council International (ACI), the Airline Catering Association (ACA) and the International Aviation Waste Management Association (IAWMA). Its growing membership base consists of airlines, caterers, suppliers, airports, member associations and governing bodies.