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Qantas operates world’s first zero waste flight

Qantas

The first-ever commercial flight to produce no landfill waste took to the skies this morning, marking the start of Qantas’ plan to cut 100 million single-use plastics by end-2020 and eliminate 75 per cent of the airline’s waste by end-2021.

All inflight products on board QF739, flying from Sydney to Adelaide and staffed by cabin crew from the Qantas ‘Green Team’, will be disposed of via compost, reuse or recycling.

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About 1000 single-use plastic items were substituted with sustainable alternatives or removed altogether from the flight, including individually-packaged servings of milk and Vegemite.

Alternative products used during the flight include meal containers made from sugar cane and cutlery made from crop starch, all of which is fully compostable.

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At the end of the meal service, Qantas cabin crew collected the items left over for reuse, recycling or composting in multiple waste streams.

Customers used digital boarding passes and electronic bag tags where possible, with staff on hand to make sure any paper passes and tags were disposed of sustainably.

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The Qantas lounges at Sydney Airport’s domestic terminal also went ‘green’ for the flight, with multiple waste streams in use.

In its effort to remove 100 million single use plastic items every year by the end of 2020, Qantas and Jetstar will replace 45 million plastic cups, 30 million cutlery sets, 21 million coffee cups and 4 million headrest covers with sustainable alternatives.

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The zero waste flight will be 100 per cent carbon offset. Qantas operates the largest carbon offset scheme in the aviation industry, with a passenger offsetting their flight every minute. From mid-2019, customers will earn 10 Qantas Points for every dollar spent offsetting their travel from Australia, which is the highest standard earn rate of any frequent flyer initiative.

Last year, Qantas operated the first biofuel flight between Australia and the United States using biofuel processed from mustard seed, and in 2012 Qantas and Jetstar operated Australia’s first biofuel trial flights.

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More information can be found in this factsheet.

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He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

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