Americans fly more than any other nation. At any given moment 7,000 planes grace the skies above our heads. There are 23,911 commercial flights every day in the United States, and there were 8,727,691 commercial flights in 2015. With all that flying, in 2012 alone, 36 billion gallons of fuel were used to power air transportation—jet travel, private planes, and helicopters.

Are Planes Recycled?
The short answer is yes! Here are 5 Surprising Facts about Aircraft Recycling. Looking for a bit more on aircraft recycling? Air & Space Magazine put together an interesting piece on the value of used airplane parts and the how they are recycled. There is even an Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association that estimates 12,000 aircraft being retired (and needing recycling) in the next two decades! 

How Do Planes Dispose of Waste?
Surprisingly, there are a lot of materials “flying the friendly skies”. Check out this piece that Waste Dive did on how different airlines are doing with reducing their wasted materials. Food waste is another issue where some airlines “waste incredible amounts of food” and some are doing better. Have you ever heard of planes dumping poop? Well, it seems that, thankfully, that practice doesn’t happen much anymore.

New Technology
Boeing and other airplane manufactures are creating new technologies and materials to help reduce the consumption of fuel in flight. Airbus is working on introducing hybrid engines by 2030, and Boeing has technology in the pipeline that will run engines on electricity while in the cruising phase of flight. These are key advancements in flight that are designed to align the industry with zero waste principles.

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