Reducing our waste through circularity
Managing our waste to reduce our impact on the planet.
With over 50 million passengers flying with us every year, the Qantas Group deals with more than 30,000 tonnes of total waste annually. We recognise the impact waste has on the environment and as a Group we are committed to addressing this impact through waste reduction initiatives, innovation and improved waste management.
Since 2011, the Qantas Group has been a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant, working to improve the sustainability of the packaging we use.
In FY19, we commited to reducing 75 per cent of Qantas Group onshore waste to landfill (including quarantine) by 2021, as well as the removal of 100 million single use plastic items.
In March 2022, we affirmed this commitment in our Group Climate Action Plan (PDF), announcing two new waste targets:
COVID-19 caused unprecedented disruption to our network activity and required additional measures to protect the health and safety of our customers and employees, such as the introduction of our Fly Well packs.
COVID-19 health and safety requirements, introduced from March 2020, meant we had to temporarily pause some of our initiatives.
As our business recovers, we've continued to work with our suppliers to embed sustainable design into the products and services we provide, while maintaining the quality our customers expect. This includes replacing plastic items with compostable alternatives, sourcing products made with recycled materials and implementing initiatives to remove plastic packaging. This can be seen in recent changes to key products we provide in our inflight and lounge services. These initiatives, among others that are being rolled out across our network, have contributed to the removal of over 29 million single-use plastic items during FY22. In July 2022, we reached our 2019 single-use plastic target, with over 107 million single-use plastic items now removed from our operations.
As part of our focus on waste reduction, we're working with our employees, suppliers, customers and State and Federal Governments to drive waste reduction initiatives, including:
- Waste minimisation through more efficient inflight and ground operations
- Introducing innovative product and packaging alternatives targeted at removing single-use plastics and reducing waste to landfill
- All plastic cutlery in our domestic network has now been replaced with responsibly sourced wooden cutlery
- Expanding waste material recovery pathways, including recycling, processing of organic material treatment and exploring waste to energy.
Disclaimer: 1. Based on 2018 data.
Disclaimer: 2. Excluding items required for medical or health and safety reasons.
Disclaimer: 3. Excluding quarantine waste, a highly regulated and specialised waste stream with limited waste diversion pathways. All waste associated with international ports (inbound and outbound) is treated as quarantine waste.