BioPak and Qantas launch first ever zero-waste flight

BioPak and Qantas launch first ever zero-waste flight

Environmentally friendly packaging company BioPak has partnered with Qantas to see the world's first zero-waste flight take off.

Launching from Sydney and landing in Adelaide earlier today the flight saw BioPak take control of the plane's food packaging as part of a zero-waste trial.

BioPak's compostable packaging will be commercially composted in Adelaide and will replace Qantas' single-use plastics and disposable food packaging previously used.

"We are delighted to team up with Qantas Group in what is an unprecedented step forward in fighting the war on waste," says BioPak CEO Gary Smith.

"This is the most ambitious waste reduction target of any major airline globally, and we are truly excited to be at the forefront in providing state-of-the-art, eco-friendly products that solve the impending issue of single-use plastics.

"Innovation is at the heart of what we do. For more than a decade we have been working with companies across Australia and NZ to provide a viable solution to our current waste crisis, and it is wonderful to see Qantas Group join our ever-expanding network."

BioPak packaging is made from plants, using a range of renewable materials that are responsibly sourced. Their sustainable, innovative and certified compostable packaging solutions are designed for a circular economy where there is no waste.

The BioPak trial is part of Qantas' efforts to cut 100 million single-use plastics by the end of 2020 and to eliminate 75 per cent of the airline's waste by 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," says 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 this flight would typically produce 34 kilograms of waste with the Sydney to Adelaide route producing 150 tonnes of waste annually.

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

About 1000 single-use plastic items were substituted with sustainable alternatives or removed altogether from the flight, including individually-packaged servings of milk and Vegemite.

Alternative products used during the flight include meal containers made from sugar cane and cutlery made from crop starch, all of which is fully compostable.

Last year, Qantas operated the first biofuel flight between Australia and the United States using biofuel processed from mustard seed, and in 2012 Qantas and Jetstar operated Australia's first biofuel trial flights.

BioPak have been making headlines recently for their efforts across a number of industries in its efforts to reduce waste.

One café in Perth saved 33,000 kilograms of waste from landfill in just three months by transferring to BioPak products and producing compost.

Coca Cola Amatil also jumped on the BioPak bandwagon at the beginning of the year, pledging to distribute BioPak's paper straws for free where customers would normally grab a plastic straw.

"We're serious about playing our part in reducing unnecessary plastic packaging," said Coca Cola Amatil managing director Alison Watkins in a statement.

Shares in Qantas are down 1.35 per cent to $5.46 per share at 11.07am AEST.

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