Closed-loop action: Fraport & Lufthansa team up to push PET recycling project

By Luke Barras-hill |

Source: Lufthansa Group/Oliver Rösler.

Fraport AG and Lufthansa have teamed up in a bid to recycle up to *four million polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles a year.

The closed-loop project transfers recyclable PET bottles from the aircraft into a 100% sustainable loop.

Around 60% of the waste weight from an aircraft is accounted for by returned PET bottles, said Fraport in a statement.

After landing, the bottles are collected and handed to German beverage manufacturer Hassia Mineralquellen and the company integrates the bottles into its own recycling process.

Recovered PET granulate is then used to make new bottle banks, which are refilled with beverages.

Lufthansa and Fraport tested a closed-loop recycling project in late 2021 and after successfully completing it was transferred it into regular operation at Frankfurt Airport.

*Based on Lufthansa’s current air traffic volume, it is expected that around four million PET bottles weighing 72 tonnes can be collected this year alone. According to flight movements and the carrier’s load factor for 2019, the project partners could collect up to 10 million PET bottles per year in the future.

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