Southwest recycles

October 3, 2007 at 6:06 pm 1 comment

Posted by: Joseph Hershey

swa rocks with the recycle program! --

I went to the Podcast and New Media Expo this past weekend. Flying back and forth from Michigan was better than I expected. I flew on Southwest (SWA). I picked Southwest because they offered the only nonstop trip from Detroit to Ontario, California, where the expo was held.

I didn’t hear it or notice it on my ride out, because I tend to be unconscious asleep during long plane trips, but on the way back to DTW, I got confused, then excited as they collected trash from the cabin.

“…Please fully collapse your boxes and separate your cans. We will be recycling the trash picked up from the cabin…”


I’ve never heard this before.

I had to check it out further. Do a Google search for “southwest airlines recycle”.

I found some interesting stuff.

There’s a major study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) out that reports on the status of the airline industry creating loads of trash and stuff. Check here for a good summary, here for the actual study.

I found complains that the airline industry isn’t recycling in an article posted 06.20.07. I guess they failed to mention Southwest has a comprehensive recycling incentive program for employees, as reflected in the employee on board request I heard to separate trash for recycle.

I also found Southwest has a blog. It looks like a good application of corporate blogging. They choose to join the conversation about their brand, rather than just let others talk about it.

For instance, in one blog entry, a reader commented that things need to change, things need to change BIG. Sarah says:

“I agree that parts of America ARE beuatiful, and that SWA has allowed me to be able to enjoy some of those beautifull areas…however…..I have a lot of hopelessness over the current state of our nation. Not necessarily its people but I feel there are SO many problems and I feel unsure how to fix them….health care…the enviornment….. work loads …child care. …maternaty leave ….tremendous stess levels from the high pressure to acheive …… broken families …… and our polititians dont seem to be concerned about anything but the money in their pockets…. in fact MOST of america seems to be driven by the evils of money. We need a change …. we need BIG changes!

PS…. why doesnt SWA RECYCLE all those millions, billions of plastic drink cups! ….do we REALLY need them anyway ….think of how many PLASTIC bottles people buy in the airport and soon after throw in the trash! It makes me so angry that our culture has gotten so used to buying and throwing…its a disposable nation!”

I agree that things have to change. I want to recognize what is being done though.

I added comment that Southwest shows a new attitude toward its business, employees, and customers, because it does enable, provides incentives to its employees to recycle when and where they choose to. Check it out… A Salute to America.

It’s important to note where changes are being made, however how small. And what Southwest is doing makes a major impact because of their volume and size… Not only that but thousands of customers will hear the words “separate and recycle” on their flights over the course of the nest year.

This is great!

Southwest seems to be doing something. I haven’t seen or heard of any of the other major airlines doing anything to help out the cause.

Have you?


Entry filed under: Recycle.

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