LATAM Group eliminates 96% of single-use plastics

This achievement, achieved at the end of 2023, is part of the group's sustainability strategy, which seeks to be zero waste to landfill by 2027 and carbon neutral by 2050

(Source: LATAM)

The LATAM group ended 2023 with significant progress in the elimination of single-use plastics throughout its operation, managing to reduce more than 1,700 tons, which represents around 96% of the scope defined by the LATAM group as single-use plastic. use, equivalent to 266 million plastic bags. The remaining 4% corresponds to those elements that could not be replaced or eliminated for legal, safety, health or operational reasons
or because there were no replacement options available on the market.

“We are proud to be able to end 2023 with significant progress in eliminating single-use plastics in all operations, which was a great challenge for the group. It was a process of approximately three years, which transversally involved different areas, from the design of the travel experience to the operational lines, replacing disposable plastics with rotatable, biobased and/or biodegradable materials. We know that there is still a lot to improve, so we will continue working hard on it this year," highlighted Johanna Cabrera, Sustainability Manager of LATAM Airlines Group.

These actions include relevant changes. In this sense, in Cabina Business, reusable cotton bags have been implemented for rest elements and amenities, such as pillows, down, seat covers and headphones, at the same time that new amenity kits were launched without single-use plastics, made in Brazil with local raw materials, artisanal production, cruelty free and that have been designed by emerging South American artists.

In the Economy cabin, the use of reusable tableware was activated throughout the service, based on highly durable rotatable plastic, as well as bamboo cutlery and stirrers. Also, the use of paper tapes to contain break items began in the subsidiaries of Colombia, Chile, Peru and Ecuador.

Regarding the experience at airports, new paper labels and 100% paper courtesy bags were applied at the network level, which is still being implemented in different hubs.

Additionally, LATAM Airlines Brazil changed the snack kits for ground contingencies to 100% paper and cardboard material.

Finally, in offices and operational areas - also particularly in the subsidiaries in Chile and Brazil - paper cups began to be used, as well as carts, bags and paper bags to contain and transfer warehouse materials to the plane.

Other initiatives
The above was complemented with the work that the LATAM group has been carrying out with its "Recycle your trip" program that promotes the segregation of certain waste generated in the onboard service to later be recycled, which is under permanent review and improvement. "Recycle your trip" is currently operational on domestic flights of the subsidiaries of Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil. During 2023, more than 170 tons of PET plastic bottles generated on domestic flights in South America. The separation of Tetra Pak on board for recycling will be added by 2024. As an example, on
LATAM Airlines Brazil domestic flights they estimate to recycle 40 tons annually (equivalent to an Airbus A139 airplane without fuel).

In addition, the LATAM group continued with its “Second Flight” program, which allows the uniforms and various disused textile elements of the group's airlines to have a second life. To do this, South American artisans and entrepreneurs transform these elements into new products, such as passport holders, luggage tags, wallets and key chains, among others. The group works with 11 organizations and has allocated more than 30 tons (50,000 garments) for second use.

Thanks to the initiatives of the employees of the LATAM group's cargo subsidiaries, and in addition to the proposed goals, since 2023, reusable blankets have been used to cover pallets at different stages of cargo transportation in Chile and Brazil, which has led to a decrease the use of plastic film up to 90% in certain processes. Along with the above, we became the first group of airlines in the world to implement the 3M machine and tape, which allow an 80% reduction of plastic film in the storage process of cargo imports in Chile.

The results achieved in the circular economy are framed within the sustainability strategy that the LATAM group presented in May 2021, in order to focus its actions on three specific pillars: Climate Change, Shared Value and Circular Economy. Along with reducing single-use plastics in all operations, LATAM also seeks to become a zero waste to landfill group by 2027 and carbon neutral by 2050.

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