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Qantas to slash waste to landfill in environmental push

DDDate: 25-Feb-19
Author: Liam Taylor

It is well known that air travel requires the use of substantial amounts of fossil fuels, but what of the waste generated in-flight?

It is well known that air travel requires the use of substantial amounts of fossil fuels, but what of the waste generated in-flight?

Qantas Group has announced plans to reduce the amount of waste they contribute to landfill by 75 percent by the time the clocks change over to 2022.

Qantas and its budget subsidiary Jetstar together generate over 30,000 tonnes of waste within Australia every year. By aiming to reduce this waste to landfill by 75%, the organisation has committed to the most ambitious waste reduction target of any major airline in the world.

Australia’s largest and oldest airline announced the lofty targets as part of the carrier’s half-year results, with CEO Alan Joyce saying the business had a responsibility to lead on environmental issues.

“In the process of carrying 50 million people each year, we deal with more than 30,000 tonnes of waste. That’s the same weight as about eighty 747 jumbos,” said Mr Joyce in a statement.

“It is quite literally a waste and we have a responsibility to our customers, shareholders and the community to reduce it.”

According to the International Air Transport Association, the average passenger generates 1.4 kg of waste per flight, the majority of which is composed of single-use plastic items. Health and safety regulations and low costs are major reasons for the prevalence of mile-high plastic items.

To achieve their lofty waste reduction targets, Qantas has committed to removing more than 100 million single-use plastic items from flights and lounges per year. This will involve replacing 45 million plastic cups, 30 million cutlery sets, 21 million coffee cups and 4 million headrest covers by end-2020.

 

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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.



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