The Not So Green Skies

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

by David Farley, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, September 2009

image Even the infrequent flier might have noticed that when the flight attendant comes around collecting passenger detritus, all the empty cans, cups, bottles, newspapers and napkins usually end up in the same garbage bag. The U.S. airline industry discards enough aluminum cans every year to build nearly 58 Boeing 747s and enough paper to fill a football field–size hole 230 feet deep—that’s 4,250 tons of aluminum and 72,250 tons of paper. The 30 largest airports in the country, with the help of the airlines, create enough waste to equal the trash produced by cities the size of Miami or Minneapolis. [Read rest of story]

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