Emirates goes eco-friendly and turns bottles into blankets
Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail|13 April 2018| 26 Rajab 1439
The next time you board a long-haul Emirates flight and feel warm in a comforter, remember that what you are covering up with is not a blanket made of cotton, but from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles.
For each blanket, the airline ensures that 28 plastic bottles do not end up in landfills.
Introduced by the airline in its Economy class on all long-haul flights (above six hours), in 2016, these sustainable blankets are now offered to passengers in all three classes.
Speaking to Gulf News about the initiative, believed to be the largest sustainable blanket programme on board in the airline industry, Joost Heymeijer, senior vice-president, Emirates Catering, said Emirates ecoTHREAD blankets are made using innovation that recycles plastic and turns it into yarn.
“Emirates ecoTHREAD blankets are designed in partnership with in-flight specialist Buzz and are made using ecoTHREAD patented technology. The bottles are recycled into plastic chips before being turned into yarn, creating a polar fleece material. The fine thread is then woven into blankets which are both soft and durable,” he said.
Emirates blankets are designed in partnership with in-flight specialist Buzz made using ecoTHREAD technology. The bottles are recycled into plastic chips before being turned into yarn, creating a polar fleece material, which is then woven into blankets.” – Joost Heymeijer | Senior vice-president, Emirates Catering
By the end of 2019, these Emirates ecoTHREAD blankets would have kept 88 million plastic bottles away from landfills – equivalent to the weight of 44 A380 aircraft, he added.
Heymeijer said that the blankets have received positive feedback from passengers, with many saying that they find them warmer and more comfortable. “The blankets can last for around three months, and that is when we remove them from circulation and then use them for charitable purposes.”
Emirates works with partners to process the recycling, and, according to Heymeijer, ecoTHREAD is certified with the Intertek Green Leaf Mark by third party testing and certification body Intertek, independently verified to use 100 per cent recycled materials.
“The manufacturing process used to create an ecoThread blanket involves the recycling of polyethylene terephthalate [PET], which is the key factor that reduces energy emissions by 70 per cent,” he said.
The airline has undertaken many initiatives in its commitment to product innovation and sustainability, which includes recycling aluminium cans, plastic and glass bottles, and clean paper products such as newspapers, magazines and cardboard cartons whenever possible.
Source – Gulf News