QANTAS goes zero-waste

QANTAS has become the first airline to trail zero-waste travel, with the “world’s first zero-waste flight” from Sydney to Adelaide yesterday. The flight included completely reusable, recyclable and compostable materials, making it the first ever commercial flight to produce no landfill waste.

The airline plans to eliminate 1000 million single use plastic annually by the end of 2020 and cut landfill waste by 75% by the end of 2021. Currently, QANTAS and it’s budget fleet Jetstar create over 30,000 tonnes of waste each year. The waste will be recycled and composted, with compost then being used in gardens and farms around Australia.

Other airlines have begun to follow suit, with Etihad making a plastic free longhaul flight and airlines such as Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and America’s three largest airlines (Delta, American and United) actively reducing plastic waste and replacing with biodegradable alternatives.

“We’re doing this because our customers are asking us to address our waste,” says Qantas Domestic CEO, Andrew David. “We’re doing it because the cabin crew see this waste every day and they want it eliminated … this is the right thing to do. This morning’s flight is a huge milestone in that journey … it’s about testing our products, refining the waste process, and getting feedback from our customers. We want to give customers the same level of service they currently enjoy, but without the amount of waste that comes with it.”

QANTAS has been praised by many sustainability groups, with particular attention given to the ‘zero-waste’ nature of their venture, rather than just ‘plastic free’ like many other airlines.

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Sonja DuncanComment