LSG Group working with ANZ to decrease cabin waste

LSG Sky Chefs has teamed up with Air New Zealand and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to tackle inflight waste from Air New Zealand’s international services arriving in Auckland.

The waste reduction initiative “Project Green” is expected to divert 150 tons of waste from landfill each year.

“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 aircraft sealed and untouched,” said a release from LSG Group.

Products approved include sealed beverages and unopened snacks. More items expected to be added in coming months. In the first month of running Project Green across Air New Zealand estimates that, on its international fleet, 13 tons of waste, including 266,000 plastic cups, 480 kilograms of sugar packets and 3.5 tons of bottled water were diverted.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) data estimates global commercial aviation generated 5.2 million tons of inflight waste in 2016. While Air New Zealand has always been waste-conscious, quarantine controls have presented challenges to recycling initiatives in the past.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says, “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.”

“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,” said LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand General Manager Pieter Harting.

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.