The Qantas Group has announced plans to replace its disposable coffee cups with recyclable and compostable options as part of its new waste initiative scheme.
As a major environmental push, the Qantas Group – including Qantas, QantasLink, and JetStar – plans to become the first airline to reuse, recycle and compost 75 per cent of its waste by the end of 2021.
Qantas Groups CEO Alan Joyce says that the aviation industry has a responsibility to manage waste that goes beyond the European Union ban, both in scope and speed.
“We’ve already removed plastic wrapping on our pyjamas and headsets, as well as plastic straws. Even Frequent Flyer cards are going digital. It adds up to millions of items a year because of our scale,” he says.
- Australian Capital Territory considers coffee cup ban
- South Australian Government may ban takeaway coffee cups
- Takeaway coffee cups may be banned by 2023
The Qantas Group aims to remove 100 million single-use plastic items by end-2020, replacing 45 million plastic cups, 30 million cutlery sets, 21 million coffee cups, and 4 million headrest covers with sustainable alternatives.
“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,” Alan says.
The waste reduction scheme will include eliminating single-use plastics, removing boarding passes and operation manuals, and recycling old staff uniforms.
Further adding to this initiative, Qantas says it will award frequent flyer points for passengers who chose to offset their carbon emissions when booking their flight.
“Around 10 per cent of passengers already choose to offset their flights so we’re hoping that the added incentive of earning Qantas points helps to boost this number,” Alan says.
The Qantas Group says its airlines are working with manufactures and other airlines to further reduce waste going to landfill.