Green dry ice a win for airlines and the environment

Green dry ice a win for airlines and the environment

Dry ice used to cool meals for inflight catering is expensive and releases harmful CO2. Gate Gourmet successfully tested an innovative alternative to dry ice that saves cost and greenhouse gases.

The airline catering industry uses dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, to keep prepared meals fresh. Dry ice slabs are placed in food trolleys and stores, keeping the food chilled or frozen until ready for use, especially on long-haul flights.

gategroup company Gate Gourmet has partnered with synthetic dry ice provider, EcoSlice (EcoSlice is a trademark of EcoSlice Pty Ltd) to test a more environmentally friendly dry ice on board commercial aircraft. The pilot trial is the first of its kind for commercial aviation.

New South Wales Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Gabrielle Upton was present at the recent New South Wales Green Globe Awards, where Gate Gourmet was presented with the Innovation Award.

Gate Gourmet’s Head of Compliance, Mark Naylor said the airline caterer and partners EcoSlice and Virgin Australia had run dry ice trials with great success. 

“Reducing our environmental impact is a guiding principle not only for Gate Gourmet but for aviation and food manufacturing in general – it’s part of our responsibility to our airline customers, their airline passengers and the aviation industry,” Mr Naylor said.

“Through partnering with EcoSlice, we’ve been able to test a synthetic dry ice which gives us a better quality of refrigeration than normal dry ice, with less greenhouse emissions. Thanks to Virgin Australia we’ve run real-time aircraft trials with great results.

These trials are not only the first of their kind in Australia, but also a first in the global commercial airline catering market. The synthetic dry ice product is innovative, cost effective, reusable and produced with recycled material which makes it greenhouse friendly and most importantly, much safer to use in the confined space of a commercial plane.

A win for passengers, airlines and the environment.