Qantas announces major changes

Qantas, Jetstar and QantasLink will all ditch paper boarding passes and switch to a purely digital system in a move due to be introduced across both airlines this year.

In a bid to cut down on paper waste, the Qantas Group plans to become the first airline in the world to reuse, recycle and compost at least 75 per cent of its waste by the end of 2021.

The change will apply to all international and domestic boarding passes.

Qanats also announced it would cut out single-use plastics, replacing them with “alternative packaging”. Along with plans for paperless passes and operational manuals, coffee cups will be recycled or composted, old crew uniforms will be recycled and more food will be composted or donated to those who need it.

“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 80 747 jumbos,” said Qantas Group chief Alan Joyce.

“It is quite literally a waste, and we have a responsibility to our customers, shareholders and the community to reduce it.”

Mr Joyce says he’s proud of what Qantas is doing to reduce its carbon footprint.

“We’ve already removed plastic wrapping on our pyjamas and headsets, as well as plastic straws. Even plastic Frequent Flyer cards are going digital,” he said.

“It adds up to millions of items a year because of our scale, and there’s a lot more we can do.

“Few industries can eradicate waste completely, but with this program we’re saying that avoidable waste should no longer be an acceptable by-product of how we do business.

“This isn’t just the right thing to do, it is good for business and will put us ahead of legislative requirements in the various countries we operate in where there is an end-date on various single-use plastics.”

And the cuts could eventually trickle down to the bottom line, especially the staff costs associated with the time it takes to manage waste during and after a flight.

“Some of the best feedback to our efforts so far has been from our crew who see the sheer volume of waste generated in cabins of hundreds of people every day,” said Mr Joyce.

Qantas has targets to reduce fuel, water and electricity consumption, and claims it already has the largest carbon offset scheme of any airline in the world.

Would you choose Qantas because of its environmental focus? Or do you just want the cheapest, best flights possible? Do you applaud the group for this action?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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