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Airline pursues plastic recycling at Frankfurt Airport

Lufthansa and Frankfurt airport operator Fraport have got together and plan to recycle four million plastic bottles this year. This translates into roughly 72 tonnes of recycled material.

The companies collaborated with local German drinks firm Hassia Mineralquellen to test a closed loop recycling project at the end of 2021. Citing positive results, they have expanded the project to Frankfurt airport.

The initiative will see fully recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles collected and delivered to Hassia Mineralquellen where the material will be integrated into its own recycling process.

Lufthansa says 100% of the bottles will be recycled and the recovered granulate will be used to produce new bottles. At the moment, approximately 60% of the weight of waste from an aircraft is accounted for by returned PET bottles and their contents.

Based on current air traffic volumes, the airline believes it will be able to collect around four million PET bottles for recycling this year. Once air travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, the recycling effort could recover ten million bottles per year.

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