American Airlines Cargo announces today that it reduced long-term plastic waste by more than 150,000 lbs, the equivalent of 8.6 million water bottles, in 2023. This is a result of a continued relationship with BioNatur Plastics, launched by M&G Packaging, which manufactures a growing line of biodegradable plastic products for use in air cargo operations.
The carrier began transitioning to BioNatur Plastics products at major U.S. hubs in early 2022, reducing long-term plastic waste by the equivalent of 6.4 million water bottles in the first year. In 2023, American expanded its use of the biodegradable products beyond U.S. hubs to include regional domestic stations, such as Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Honolulu International Airport (HNL) and Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP), as well as internationally to Carrasco International Airport (MVD) and Santiago International Airport (SCL) in Latin America.
American plans to continue replacing traditional plastic used for stretch wrap and pallet covers with the BioNatur Plastics line, which is manufactured with a 1% load of an organic, food-safe proprietary additive that allows anaerobic bacteria to digest the plastic in a landfill. Outside of a landfill, the plastic has an indefinite shelf life and performs exactly like traditional plastic products.
“Sustainability is of paramount importance for us at American, and we are so pleased that our transition to BioNatur Plastics is one way we can implement real change in our cargo operations,” says Greg Schwendinger, President of American Airlines Cargo. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with BioNatur Plastics as we unite in working toward a greener future.”
Charles Rick, President of BioNatur Plastics adds, “American is a leader in sustainability and we are proud to work with the cargo team to make the switch to our biodegradable and recyclable plastics. We look forward to even greater impact together in 2024.”
Regular plastic can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade in a landfill. BioNatur biodegradable plastics will biodegrade under landfill conditions in only 8 to 12 years. The end products are fully recyclable in normal waste collection streams, and with added strength, the plastics can be used in thinner amounts – thus minimizing the quantity of plastic use overall.