Incheon International Airport Corporation in Seoul has underwritten 50 percent of the purchase price of more than 7,000 biodegradable vinyl pallet covers used by handling companies Korea Airport Service, Swissport and AACT.
The project is the fourth in a series of environmental initiatives begun by the airport in 2009 under the Green Cargo Hub banner. Incheon started by supplying some 400 lightweight air cargo containers to airlines and ground handlers in 2010, claiming a reduction of 28,000 tonnes in CO2 gas emissions, and has since promoted the adoption of environmentally friendly biodegradable and photodegradable air cargo packaging materials.
The vinyl packaging used for the pallet covers incorporates material such as corn flour, which speeds up decomposition in the natural environment.
“Whereas conventional vinyl takes more than 16 years after burial before it starts to decompose, the biodegradable vinyl starts to decompose just eight months after burial,” the corporation said. However, the packaging is 80 percent more expensive than conventional polyethylene vinyl.