Airbus unveils recycling cabin trolley

3 Apr 2019 by Mark Caswell

Airbus has unveiled a new cabin trolley concept aimed at making it easier for airlines to recycle cabin waste.

The Retrolley allows cabin crew to collect and separate items, including a container for storing liquids, with sections for stacked cups, recyclable paper and plastics, and one for rubbish which cannot be recycled.

The trolley was inspired by a concept created by Brazilian aviation students at Sao Paulo University, who were finalists in Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas competition in 2015.

The design was refined and manufactured in partnership with Italian firm Iacobucci HF Aerospace, and following test flights in late 2018, is being exhibited at this week’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

IATA estimates that 5.2 million tonnes of cabin waste was created in 2016, a figure which is set to double by 2030, with the cost of handling the waste thought to be around £500 million per year.

Airbus said that at present waste is “collected, but rarely sorted, by cabin crews and nearly all of it is handed over to airports – which, in turn, send it to landfills or incinerators”.

Commenting on the news Lucio Iacobucci, the CEO of Iacobucci HF Aerospace, said:

“As a very simple system, the Retrolley can be used on different flights. Each airline has its own approach and needs, and this trolley is adaptable to various requirements.”

A number of airlines have introduced measures to reduce waste on flights, with Delta announcing a phasing out of single-use plastics on its aircraft and in executive lounges, and Austrian Airlines partnering with Vienna Airport and oil and gas company OMV to turn used plastic cups into crude oil.

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