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GREEN ISSUES

01 Jun 07. Airbus and Boeing have competed to build jetliners for nearly 40 years. Now they’re jockeying to destroy them more efficiently. Airbus hopes to be able to recycle 95% of a jetliner by 2015. Mr. Malavallon is leading a team of engineers that has dismantled an Airbus A300 jetliner at another French airfield and is carefully studying the results. Their tools include ion-blasting mass spectrometers that take chemical fingerprints of the plane’s various materials and a razor-sharp water jet used to sever its wings. Boeing’s undertaking “isn’t playing in the same ballpark,” Mr. Malavallon boasted as he walked through a hangar filled with jetliner entrails at the Tarbes airport in southwest France. Behind the latest trash talk between Airbus and Boeing is a growing challenge: Eliminating the world’s aging airline fleet as it reaches retirement. Some 7,000 passenger jets are expected to end their flying careers over the next 20 years, so finding ways to recycle them in an environmentally and financially efficient way is critically important. Until recently, many grounded planes simply rotted alongside runways as so-called “resting wrecks.” Lots more sat parked in the Mojave Desert with unplugged hoses dripping corrosive fluids and batteries leaching acid. Stripped of everything of any value, most were eventually sold as scrap. Then, two years ago, a retired Boeing 737 that had been demolished improperly turned up illegally dumped by unknown culprits in an empty lot in Scotland. Billy Glover, Boeing’s director of environmental performance strategy, made the plane his rallying cry for cleaner recycling policies. “It became a way to get people’s attention across the industry,” he said. The result was that in April of last year, Boeing, the Bartin outfit and a handful of others involved in jetliner reprocessing created a trade group called the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association, or Afra. It now includes 23 companies and can recycle more than 150 planes a year at facilities near Tucson, Ariz., and in Châteauroux. (Source: WSJ)

03 Jun 07. BAE Systems has introduced two innovative schemes on the Type 45 destroyer programme, which have had a positive impact on the environment, saved tens of thousands of pounds and won the company an environmental best practice award. The first of these processes has been the adoption of an innovative powder coating process for component parts of each ship to replace traditional solvent based paint and significantly reduce the amount of solvents emitted into the atmosphere. The company has also changed the specification of other paint required on the ships from solvent-based paint to water and epoxy based paints. This has led to far greater levels of recycling as the paint tins are no longer classed as special waste and are now disposed of as scrap metal.
These changes have resulted in:
• A reduction of 12,600 litres of paint across the Type 45 programme – enough to fill 5,040 large household tins or cover 126,000 square metres – the equivalent of 12 football pitches
• Cutting landfill by 326 tonnes per year as paint tins are no longer classed as special waste and can now be recycled
• A reduction of 10 tonnes of volatile organic compound emissions per year (VOCs are a major cause to global warming)
• A financial saving to the business of tens of thousands of pounds
As a result of these changes, BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions on the Clyde has been ranked amongst the green and the good of the UK business community, winning a Business Commitment to the Environment UK Best Practice Award. BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions Type 45 managing director Jim Imrie said: “For heavy industry, and in particular warship building, to win this type of accolade is no mean feat.

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