Virgin harnesses recycled PET for sustainable flight kits
Virgin Atlantic plans to recycle four million plastic bottles a year for use in its new amenity kits for airline passengers.
The company has been working with one of its supply chain partners, MNH Sustainable Cabin Solutions, over the past six months to develop the technology to make this possible.
The kits have been designed with sustainability in mind and are made from 100% recycled PET (rPET) material which is derived from a yarn created by smashing, melting, polymerising and spinning the PET bottles.
Virgin says the resulting material has a 90% lower carbon footprint than nylon and can be recycled again at end-of-life. Any unused amenity kits will be collected for reuse.
Virgin Atlantic's head of product & service Paul Sands said that the kits not only look great, but have a better sustainability profile.
"Our passengers love receiving their amenity kits and it's the little extra touches that make all the difference. At the same time, we are passionate as an airline about making sure everything we do is reviewed through a sustainability lens," he said.
The new kits are the latest initiative in the company's wider 'Change is in the Air' sustainability programme.
Last year its recycling partner MNH helped Virgin divert nearly 700 tonnes of cabin waste from landfill by reconditioning and recycling a range of items including amenity kits, headsets and pillows.
Back in July, Virgin founder Richard Branson called for alternative materials to replace sticky plastic wraps used to secure passenger bags at airline check-in desks as part of a drive to help safeguard ocean and marine life.