Air New Zealand to recycle food across flights

Air New Zealand has launched a new initiative to reduce in-flight waste by reusing unopened food across flights.

Called Project Green, the initiative is part of an agreement between Air New Zealand, Ministry for Primary Industries and LSG Sky Chefs to work around strict biosecurity standards.

Biosecurity regulations mean that before the programme was implemented, any unopened food left over from international flights was sent to landfill.

Now food is able to be taken off one aircraft and then put onto another flight.

"We've spent considerable time auditing our inflight waste to gain a better understanding of how we can improve our handling processes…  We're incredibly encouraged by the early data we're seeing," Head of Operational Delivery for Air New Zealand Alan Gaskin says.

"Project Green is an outstanding example how airlines can work with border regulators to develop solutions to reduce cabin waste without comprising quarantine controls."

Early data provided by Air New Zealand suggests that the project has diverted 13 tonnes of waste including 3.5 tonnes of bottled water, 266,000 plastic cups and 480kg of sugar.