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Reducing and Recycling in the Air

United's onboard programs make a difference.

Photography United Airlines Creative Services

Image – United Airlines Creative Services

DID YOU KNOW that every three months Americans discard enough aluminum to rebuild all the commercial airplanes in the U.S. ? As you settle into your flight and sip your refreshing beverage, maybe you’ve thought, What happens to the cans and bottles on this flight when I’m done?

Our flight attendants collect those cans and bottles and send them to be recycled. In fact, we’re now recycling up to 25 million cans and six million plastic bottles across our domestic flights every year. That’s more than 590 tons of cans and bottles that we keep out of landfills.


• Producing a can from recycled aluminum uses 95 percent less energy than producing one from raw aluminum.

• Producing a plastic bottle from recycled plastic uses only 66 percent of the energy required to manufacture it from raw materials.

• Recycling United’s 25 million cans and six million bottles each year saves enough energy to power a community of more than 3,700 homes for a full year.

Our onboard recycling program is an important part of our commitment to protecting the environment—building on our actions in the air, on the ground and in our communities. We know that acting responsibly and protecting the environment are important to our customers and our employees. Using less onboard and recycling more are some of the actions we are taking to make a difference. Every action counts.

One Response to “Reducing and Recycling in the Air”

  1. Jeff Barrow Says:
    June 3rd, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Great! It is about time. We piloted this program at PDX several years ago with LAX, ORD, and SFO. We compiled information with the Port of Portland on amounts of recycling potential and shared this with WHQSY. Glad to see we are making this happen now.

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