By the end of 2023, Aer Lingus expects to have recycled 20%, or 200 tonnes, of the on-board garbage from aircraft landing at Cork and Dublin airports. By 2025, this number will rise by 50% or 720 tonnes.

The business will gradually expand the programme to additional airports and long-haul flights in addition to implementing recycling on short-haul flights into both cities, which started testing in late 2022 and early 2023.

Aer Lingus CEO Lynne Embleton said: “This is another milestone on the airline’s focused sustainability agenda, we know from our customers that recycling is something the vast majority wish to see happen.

“This new on-board initiative complements other positive steps we are taking on our aircraft, including the use of more sustainable materials, and reducing single-use plastics on-board.

“Our onboard recycling initiative is one of a wide-ranging set of actions we are taking to drive sustainability at the airline, including investing in new fuel-efficient aircraft and investing in sustainable aviation fuel”.

Following the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2002, European restrictions controlling foreign catering trash were implemented, which hampered on-board garbage recycling.

However, recycling can be used for any trash entering Ireland that is not contaminated by animal byproducts, according to the Department of Agriculture.