First-ever “zero waste” commercial flight takes to the skies

Published on : Wednesday, May 8, 2019

In the wake of global warming taking a toll on the environment, the Australian airline Qantas has come with a laudable initiative, the first-ever commercial flight to produce “zero waste”. The flight took off today as part of a new initiative to cut single-use plastics that end up in landfill.


All products and packaging onboard QF739, flying from Sydney to Adelaide, will either be reused, recycled or disposed of as compost.


Around 1,000 single-use plastic items were swapped for more environmentally friendly alternatives. Including all-digital boarding passes and electronic bag tags.


“In the process of carrying over 50 million people every year, Qantas and Jetstar currently produce an amount of waste equivalent to 80 fully-laden Boeing 747 jumbo jets,” Qantas Domestic CEO, Andrew David, said.


“We want to give customers the same level of service they currently enjoy, but without the amount of waste that comes with it.”


“This flight is about testing our products, refining the waste process and getting feedback from our customers,” he added.


With meal containers made from sugar cane and cutlery constructed from crop starch, David explained the new sustainable solutions will save around 34 kg of waste per flight, equating to 150 tonnes per year on the Sydney to Adelaide route.


From 2019, the airline will also offer customers frequent flyer points for participating in their carbon offset scheme.


Qantas said, its goal is to eliminate 100 million single use plastic items every year by the end of 2020, by replacing 45 million plastic cups, 30 million cutlery sets, 21 million coffee cups and four million headrest covers with sustainable substitutes.


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