WTCE 2019: Focus on Sustainability

At this year’s WTCE, the focus of the LSG Group was on sustainability. All of our four expert brands brought their contributions to the table. But in the wake of the launch of the European Commission’s initiative to tackle marine litter by abandoning single-use plastics, our guests were particularly interested in SPIRIANT’s insight and efforts in this area.

Just to prime you on the subject … did you know that …

… plastic waste increased six-fold between 1980 and 2015 to 300 million tons per year?

… Costa Rica has set itself a goal of becoming plastic-free by 2021?

… in Africa alone, 35 countries are already rejecting single-use plastic bags?

During a panel session on the subject, industry representatives Fabio Gamba, Managing Director of ACA (Airline Catering Association) and Joe Leader, CEO of APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) and IFSA (International Flight Services Association), joined our Head of Global Sales and Marketing, Frank Theis, and subject-matter experts from SPIRIANT (Daniel Knies and Vladislav Voron) to discuss our industry’s challenges and potential contributions to preserving a healthy life on our planet.

Among the points they elaborated on is the fact that our industry will play a vital role in the continued development of this effort which will go far beyond the reduction of single-use plastics and the introduction of reusable or alternative materials. They call their idea “conscious travelling,” and it touches on all aspects of a journey with measures like:

  • Further promoting dine-on-demand programs that lead to less consumption/waste
  • Rethinking an airline’s service concept
  • Including crews by incentivizing and training them on waste separation
  • Encouraging airport operators to establish permanent recycling centers in close proximity to their facilities.

The panelists also agreed that not every part of the regulation will be feasible within the airline industry. Replacing single-use items with “rotables” (reusable), for example, will be beneficial in many situations. Nevertheless, they increase weight, and consequently fuel consumption on a plane.

The general situation in our business will be addressed and discussed with the concerned authorities in order to find solutions that really have an impact on the ecosystem as a whole. Fabio Gamba and Joe Leader are taking this up by representing our industry as a whole. However, as much as people may talk about curtailing air travel as an alternative, it remains the least realistic solution to a problem that is getting worse every single day that we continue to consume and wait.

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