A 360 approach

December 20, 2019

The design team at deSter is spearheading a circular economy for aviation food packaging and equipment. Jo Austin discovers more

For the last three years deSter’s ‘deStudio’ has been fully focused on developing sustainable products. Its 360-degree approach is designed to optimise every product’s entire lifecycle recognising that every decision carries consequences, and that some well-meaning changes may have unintended impacts.

Circular thinking
The company has focused on the Circular Economy Guidelines created by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and its sustainability mission is to ensure that by 2025 its whole portfolio is solely of products that fit the circular economy.

This approaches focuses on two key areas: plastic-free solutions such as fibre-based products and those made from compostable materials; and closed loop recycling processes.

To underscore its commitment, deSter has developed an ECD (Environmentally Conscious Design) philosophy which is applied across the design process from start to finish. Having its own in-house manufacturing facilities worldwide helps it control the complete process.

A fully closedloop rotable solution is already in operation for one large EU carrier where used products are recycled to be re-manufactured into the same products again. The redesigned tray provides 830 tonnes of weight savings a year and removes the need for traymats hence creating a further 47 tonnes weight saving.

One key development has come through a new partnership with Pulpac, a Swedish R&D company. deSter is developing and manufacturing fibrepulp based single use products and is committed to local sourcing of FSC-certified wood fibres. Production in-house, in global locations close to each customer, further reduces the product’s carbon footprint.

A 100% bio-based version of the SAS Cube is now onboard using a FSC certified cardboard solution and bio-based cutlery. It will achieve an overall yearly weight reduction of 9.7 tonnes and 15% CO2 reduction per year. And deSter also claims to have onboarded the industry’s first plasticfree paper cup, for Transavia, with no plastic liner on the inside.

Next up will be the launch of natural cutlery onboard. deSter’s new product will be soil and marine biodegradable, degrading faster than wood and using material which does not affect the taste. It is set to be the first onboard that fully complies with the SUP directive.