LATAM Cargo wins IATA Innovation Award for cutting plastic use

LATAM Cargo has won the IATA Innovation Award corporate category for its plastic reduction projects in Chile and Brazil.

It was presented with the award at the closing ceremony of the IATA World Cargo Symposium in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday (Thursday 27 April), with the awards recognising concepts and ideas that contribute to digitisation, sustainability, safety and security.

In Chile, LATAM Cargo is using recyclable 3M tape to replace plastic film used to consolidate dry cargo, substituting 80% of plastic and reducing waste by 24 tons a year.

Its second project in Chile replaces plastic film used in domestic narrowbody operations with a reusable blanket, which saves 45 tons of plastic waste a year.

The Brazilian project replaces plastic film with waterproof and reusable pallet covers in its Sao Paulo Guarulhos warehouse and for ground transport between warehouses, saving 13 tons of plastic a year.

LATAM Cargo says it was employees who researched and proposed the solutions to reduce, eliminate or replace plastic and seek sustainable materials that did not pose operational risks.

Diego Garcia, Director of Ground Operations and Handling at LATAM Cargo, says, “Today these projects are a reflection of this commitment, and of the fact that great changes can come from the bottom up, without the need for major investment or technology. These advances are just the beginning. We will continue to work on more initiatives that allow us to contribute to the environment, and we hope that more industry players will join in, because we cannot achieve change alone.”

Brendan Sullivan, Global Head of Cargo at IATA, adds, “Innovation holds the key to development, sustainability, and success in the air cargo industry, that’s why we launched the IATA Air Cargo Innovation Awards. I am honoured to present the Corporate Award to LATAM Cargo for their innovation efforts in sustainability and for fostering an environment of advancement and inclusion across all levels of the airline.”

In May 2021, LATAM Group launched its renewed sustainability strategy with the goals of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, eliminating single-use plastics throughout its operations by 2023 and becoming a zero waste to landfill group by 2027.