HOUSTON, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today announced a major increase in the effectiveness of its recycling programs after the company put special emphasis on recycling projects in support of its ongoing commitment to the environment.
As the United States prepares to observe "America Recycles Day" on Sunday, Continental said that so far in 2009, it has collected more than 4 million pounds of mixed recyclables from terminal operations at its Houston Bush Intercontinental, New York/Newark Liberty and Cleveland Hopkins hubs - an 800 percent year-over-year increase. Mixed recyclables include newspapers, cans, and plastic bottles contributed by co-workers and customers via designated "EcoSkies" recycling bins in hub airport terminals.
"While Continental has had a robust recycling program for more than a decade, we have made substantial enhancements to the program throughout 2008 and 2009, increasing recycling onboard our aircraft, at our airport terminals and at other supporting facilities, like our food service kitchens," said Leah Raney, Continental's managing director of global environmental affairs. "We have had strong encouragement and support from our co-workers and customers, and we are excited to see such great results from our expanded recycling program."
In 2008, Continental's expanded inflight and flight kitchen recycling efforts resulted in the recovery of more than 462 tons pounds of plastic and aluminum, and more than 1,300 tons of cardboard. So far in 2009, Continental has more than doubled that amount, recovering more than 1,500 tons of plastic and aluminum, and more than 30,000 tons of cardboard.
Continental also works with contract caterers at the non-hub airports it serves to encourage recycling; today, more than 91 percent of Continental's domestic caterers and more than 87 percent of its international caterers recycle.
Due to Continental's focus on increasing its recycling efforts in 2009 alone, Continental has:
Proceeds from Continental's recycling program are re-invested in the program or donated to We Care, a nonprofit charity organization that provides financial assistance to Continental employees in need.
Continental has been an airline industry leader in environmental responsibility for more than a decade, with a dedicated team of environmental professionals who work to review and mitigate the airline's environmental impact in every aspect of its business. Continental's expanding recycling program is one of numerous environmental initiatives that the company has undertaken in the past several years. The airline also partnered with Boeing, GE Aviation/CFM International, and Honeywell's UOP to perform the first biofuel demonstration flight by a commercial carrier in North America. Continental, which is 38 percent more fuel efficient than it was in 1997 per revenue passenger mile, has undertaken comprehensive efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its ground fleet by testing alternative energy sources, and offers customers a carbon offset program, offered through nonprofit Sustainable Travel International.
For more information on Continental's EcoSkies program, go to: http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/content/company/globalcitizenship/environment.aspx.
Continental Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 2,400 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 130 domestic and 132 international destinations. Continental is a member of Star Alliance, which provides access to more than 900 additional points in 169 countries via 24 other member airlines. With more than 41,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with its regional partners, carries approximately 63 million passengers per year.
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