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Air New Zealand’s ‘Project Green’ Keeps 890 Tons of In-flight Waste out of Landfills Since 2017

Air New Zealand announced on Monday that their ‘Project Green’ initiative has diverted 890 tons of in-flight waste from landfills since the start of the project in late 2017. The weight of the diverted waste is equivalent to five Boeing 777-300s.

Air New Zealand Diverts Nearly 900 Tons of In-flight Waste From Landfills - Photo Credit: Daniel Norris/Unsplash

On Monday, Air new Zealand announced that they have diverted nearly 900 tons of in-flight waste from landfills since the start of their ‘Project Green’ initiative in late 2017. The project includes glass recycling as well as product use waste reduction. For example, unused flight service items that may have previously gone straight to a landfill can now be loaded on a subsequent flight, providing they are untouched and sealed in their original packaging. A collaboration between Air New Zealand, their catering partner LSG Sky Chefs and New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries made the reclassification of these items possible. In today’s announcement, Air New Zealand’s General Manager of Supply Chain, Chloe Surridge said,

“We are also working on ways to further segregate the waste that is collected in-flight (for example soft plastics and compostables). A major challenge we face, however, in reducing waste to landfill, is the lack of recycling and composting infrastructure available us to send our materials to. More robust infrastructure across the country, including in the regions, would help us keep compostables and recyclables out of landfills. Project Green is a very good example of the steps Air New Zealand is taking to build sustainability into its supply chain. We are looking to make impactful sustainability gains, and in order to do this, we have to enable those bigger conversations through relationships with our suppliers and business partners.”

Project Green covers over 40 items including cans of soft drinks, packaged cookies, boxed tea, coffee, sugar packets and sealed napkins. Before this initiative, even unopened and otherwise re-usable service items would have to be incinerated. Since the project’s inception, Air New Zealand has been able to recover the equivalent of two Airbus A320s worth of 1.5L water bottles (85 tons), more than 11.5M plastic glasses and over 4M packets of sugar.

Source: Air New Zealand


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