Award winning airline Monarch is the first UK airline to roll out a full recycling program onboard its flights. The program will recycle all aluminum, plastic, glass and paper used during flights. All recyclables will be passed over to cleaning services upon arrival at Gatwick airport.

Monarch is pioneering the scheme as part of its MAP initiative (Monarch and the Planet). The scheme will look at all aspects of the airline’s business as it strives to improve its environmental footprint.

After polling its customers, only 16% felt airlines are doing enough to recycle onboard waste. The initial trial was successfully received by both customers and crew on a selection of flights over the summer.

Managing Director of Monarch Airlines, Tim Jeans said, “Monarch had been operating a paper collection scheme onboard it’s flights for a number of years but now feedback from passengers and crew highlighted the fact that the recycling of other items such as plastics and cans, is a part of everyday life now which people wished to continue if they were at home they’d be recycling the items, so why should they not do so on flights?”

“With 70% of the waste generated in the cabin being potentially recyclable, Monarch has been working with the Gatwick Airport on the initiative to ensure that the recyclable waste is removed from the aircraft on arrival and recycled appropriately, We are looking to extend the scheme to include all Monarch’s flights over the coming months and we urge other UK and European airports to introduce the necessary recycling infrastructure to allow us to do so.”

David Stretch, Customer Service Director, BAA Gatwick said, “we are continually looking at ways to increase recycling at the airport and I’m delighted that Monarch has led the way in introducing a service which results in all recyclable onboard items now being recycled. I’m also particularly delighted that Monarch has chosen Gatwick as its first airport location to introduce this scheme, which brings benefits for everyone.”

Monarch also plans to introduce biodegradable alternatives to replace those items which cannot be recycled due to food contamination. Biodegradable bags will replace carrier bags for duty free purchases made onboard and in-flight magazines will be printed on paper that grows in sustainable forests.




  1. 1 Andrea Krug November 19, 2007 at 8:10 am

    Nothing wrong with recycling. But how about avoiding plastic waste in the first place? Surely where there’s a will there’s a way? I’m getting the impression that people are being hoodwinked into believing it’s ok to use plastic items because “they can be recycled”. Well, it may be possible to recycle them, but that doesn’t mean they will be recycled. In my view, avoidance is better than recycling.

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