Emirates turns aircraft scrap into school bags
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Emirates turns aircraft scrap into school bags

photos courtesy of EMIRATES AIRLINE
photos courtesy of EMIRATES AIRLINE

As a unique way to commemorate World Environment Day, Emirates will recycle more than 50,000kg of scrap material from 191 aircraft undergoing an interior refurb to create thousands of backpacks and school bags. This year, they will be distributed to schools and organisations that support early education in Asia and Africa.

To minimise waste, Emirates' engineering team will repurpose fabric from Economy Class seats of 22 Airbus A380 aircraft that have completed the retrofit process. From these aircraft, 5,205kg of scrap materials were recovered, including seat fabrics of 95% wool and 5% nylon composition with a flat weave structure sourced from Germany and Ireland. Since materials are durable and non-flammable, they are ideal for making high-end backpacks for children in need.

A tailor team designs a wide range of backpacks for children of all ages, and the Emirates Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand team finds charity organisations, schools, orphanages and foundations to which the bags will be donated in upcoming months.

Emirates is pouring billions of dollars into the world's largest retrofit project, which began in August 2022 and aims to completely refit 191 aircraft to enhance passenger experience. The 110 Airbus A380s and 81 Boeing 777 aircraft involved in the initiative might create up to 50,000kg of waste.

In 2023, materials including leather, aluminium and wool from First and Business Class cabins of the 22 Airbus A380s were utilised for the Aircrafted by Emirates limited-edition capsule collection of luggage, which sold out in a matter of weeks. After minimal operational cost deductions, the proceeds which totalled more than 70,000 AED (700,000 baht) were donated to Emirates Airline Foundation to support humanitarian projects around the world.

Under the management of Emirates' engineering team, the project offers chances for upcycling and will take years to finish. Along with the installation of 21,814 Economy seats, 8,104 brand-new Premium Economy seats, and over 11,182 new generation Business Class seats, 1,894 First Class suites will be rehabilitated, meaning a chance to launch more creative upcycling initiatives.


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