Published on Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Qantas launches world's first zero-waste commercial flight

The world's first zero-waste commercial flight has taken off.

Qantas flight QF739 from Sydney to Adelaide was staffed by the Qantas 'Green Team' and all of the waste produced was disposed of by composting, reusing or recycling.

The flight marks the start of Qantas' mission to eliminate 100 million single-use plastics by the end of 2020.

The airline has also set a goal of cutting 75% of waste by end-2021.

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," said Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David.

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

David said flights on this route typically generate 34 kilogrammes of waste, and up to 150 tonnes of waste annually.

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

Compostable products used on the flight included meal containers made from sugar cane and cutlery made from crop starch.

Qantas and Jetstar plan to replace 45 million plastic cups, 30 million cutlery sets, 21 million coffee cups and 4 million headrest covers with sustainable alternatives.

In 2018, Qantas operated the first biofuel flight between Australia and the US using a biofuel mix processed from mustard seeds.

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