Qantas to reduce landfill waste by 70%

The airline plans to get rid of unnecessary paper and single-use plastics. Even their old uniforms will be recycled

The Australian airline operator — Qantas Group — has revealed ambitious plans to lower their environmental impact.

Currently, their carriers Qantas and Jetstar generate more than 30,000 tonnes of trash in Australia annually.

Qantas has unveiled ambition plans towards waste reduction — Qantas Group Qantas to reduce landfill waste by 70%
Qantas has unveiled ambition plans towards waste reduction — Qantas Group

By the end of 2021, the group aims to reduce the landfill waste production by 70 per cent, in a plan that is the “most ambitious waste reduction target of any major airline globally”.

“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 Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

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

“We’ve already removed plastic wrapping on our pyjamas and headsets, as well as plastic straws. Even plastic Frequent Flyer cards are going digital. It adds up to millions of items a year because of our scale and there’s a lot more we can do.”

In targeting the removal of 100 million single-use plastic items per annum, Qantas 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.

Old uniforms won’t be simply thrown away

Instead, Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar will provide their passengers with coffee cups that can be recycled or composted.

They will effectively eliminate single-use plastics by switching to alternative packaging as well as remove unnecessary paper, such as boarding passes and operational manuals. In this case, going digital should help eliminate the unnecessary use of paper. Even their uniforms will be recycled.

Mr Joyce added: “Few industries can eradicate waste completely, but with this programme, we’re saying that avoidable waste should no longer be an acceptable by-product of how we do business.

“This isn’t just the right thing to do, it is good for business and will put us ahead of legislative requirements in the various countries we operate in, where there is an end-date on various single-use plastics.

He added that the group would ask for help from the staff, customers, suppliers and regulators to help them reach the goal.