Each day, airline passengers leave behind half-eaten meals, tossed beverages, empty plastic water bottles and soda cans, napkins, newspapers, discarded packaging and more, presenting a hard-to-manage waste problem for airlines, airports and waste and recycling haulers.
In fact, airlines are on track to produce more than 10 million tons of waste annually by 2030, according to the International Air Transport Association. And in an effort to reduce that number, airlines are ramping up onboard recycling, composting and food donations.
CNN has more details:
Every day, Emirates' airline catering facility prepares 180,000 meals to service its more than 400 daily flights around the globe. The Emirates facility is one of the world's biggest airline food factories, but there are similar operations across the world.
The scale of inflight catering is astonishing -- as is its waste problem.
Half-eaten meals, tossed beers, empty plastic water bottles, napkins, discarded packaging -- look around a cabin at the end of any flight and you can get a sense of the waste on a small scale.
And the big picture? According to the International Air Transport Association, airlines produced 5.2 million tons of waste last year, and will produce over 10 million tons annually by 2030.