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Air New Zealand striving to reduce inflight waste

October 4, 2017 – LSG Sky Chefs has teamed up with Air New Zealand and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to tackle inflight waste from the airline's international services arriving in Auckland. The Project Green waste reduction initiative is expected to divert 150 tons of waste from landfill annually.

Project Green has enabled 40 Air New Zealand inflight products that were previously sent to landfill due to biosecurity controls, to be reclassified so they can be reused on future flights if removed from the aircraft when still sealed. Products approved to date include sealed beverages and unopened snacks, with further items expected to be added in the coming months. In the first month of running Project Green across Air New Zealand’s international fleet, 13 tons of waste, including 266,000 plastic cups, 480kg of sugar packets and 3.5 tons of bottled water were diverted.

Waste management is a significant issue for all airlines, with IATA data estimating the global industry generated 5.2m tons of inflight waste in 2016. Despite airlines being waste-conscious, quarantine controls have presented challenges to recycling initiatives in the past.

Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon stated, “We’ve spent considerable time auditing our inflight waste to gain a better understanding of how we can improve our handling processes. By collaborating with LSG Sky Chefs and MPI we’ve been able to make significant gains - we’re incredibly encouraged by the early data we’re seeing.”

LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand general manager Pieter Harting added, “Our role in Project Green is to ensure items taken off aircraft are sorted correctly and meet the standards we’ve agreed with MPI and Air New Zealand, before reloading trolleys with approved items for the next service. It’s been an exciting journey for us, requiring a big culture shift and getting our people onboard with new ways of working.”

Moving forward, the organizations will look at how they can further expand the range of unused products that can safely be recovered and develop a more precise approach to analyzing collection data to ensure aircraft are catered more accurately.

5 October 2017

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