Emirates Flight Catering to cut 750 tonnes of waste cardboard

posted by Charlie Hart
5 November 2019

Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) has introduced a new packaging system to reduce its cardboard waste by 750 tonnes each year. 

The firm has replaced cardboard packaging used in its food manufacturing process with reusable crates. The crates will be used to store and transport 100,000 inflight meals each day. 

EKFC said the move would enable it to save 750 tonnes of cardboard waste annually, the equivalent of 260,000 sq metres of mature woodland.

Saeed Mohammed, CEO of EKFC, said: “We are committed to operating with a mindset of efficiency and environmental sustainability. Our new packaging solution is already the third key initiative we have launched to reduce our environmental footprint and deliver more value for our stakeholders. We continue to challenge our processes and work practices to ensure the highest possible level of environmental efficiency across our operations.”

In September 2019, EKFC announced it had commissioned a state-of-the-art solar power system, which would help the firm meet 15% of its energy demand across its laundry, food manufacturing, and staff accommodation facilities.  

The solar rooftop power plant will comprise 8,112 individual solar panels, which are expected to generate 4,195 megawatt-hours of electricity annually. The plant will deliver an annual reduction of 3m kg of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Mohammed also confirmed construction would be starting shortly on its vertical farming facility, part of a joint venture with US-based vertical farming company Crop One. 

Last year, the firm announced it would be building the world’s largest vertical farming facility which would produce 2,700 kg of high quality, herbicide and pesticide-free leafy greens daily, using 99% less water than outdoor fields.

Produce from the farm, near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, will be delivered to EKFC’s customers, including 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges.

“Its location will enable quick delivery of fresh products within hours of harvest, maintaining the food’s nutritional value and reducing carbon emissions associated with transportation. The first products are expected to be delivered to our customers in 2020,” Mohammed said. 

Meanwhile, retail giant Majid Al Futtaim has pledged to phase out single-use plastics from its operations by 2025. 

The firm’s operations include 26 malls, 13 hotels, 46 cinemas and more than 285 Carrefour stores across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Last year, Majid Al Futtaim’s shopping malls received 192m visitors. If each visitor took home two Carrefour plastic bags, it would generate an estimated 2m kg of plastic waste.

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