An announcement this month from the Qantas Group points to the airline’s plan to cut the amount of waste it sends to landfill by 75% by the end of 2021.
In doing so, Qantas will remove unnecessary paper, such as boarding passes and operational manuals, by going digital. Frequent flyer cards are also set to shift online. The advice we have received from Qantas does not, at this time, stipulate a date for the phasing out of paper boarding passes.
The environmental push will see some 100 million single-use plastic items per annum removed from flights and lounges by end-2020 in what Qantas claims is the most ambitious waste reduction target of any major airline globally.
Announcing the plan as part of the national carrier’s half-year results, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said that 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 targeting the removal of 100 million single use plastic items each year, the Group will replace 45 million plastic cups, 30 million cutlery sets, 21 million coffee cups and 4 million headrest covers with sustainable alternatives by end-2020.
Airlines are legally required to dispose of some materials permanently, such as quarantined food from international flights and hazardous materials. With support from industry and regulators, the Group believes it can ultimately reduce the volume of this regulated waste as well.
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