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Closed Loop helps leading airline Qantas to analyse waste and boost recycling in a world first waste audit at Sydney’s Mascot Airport.

“The passion that’s displayed by our partner’s at Closed Loop is the reason we’re {auditing our waste} here today”

Kylie Morris - Head of Creative Development, Qantas


Qantas is one of the world's largest and most recognised Airline services and carries approximately 25,000,000 passengers worldwide per year.

As a sustainability partner to Qantas, together Closed Loop and Qantas have made a commitment to the environment. Closed Loop supplies over sixty products to Qantas and in order to align the products with the greater Closed Loop service offering, Closed Loop is constantly seeking better ways for the products to be handled.


International aircraft waste arriving into Australia is currently classified as quarantine waste.

This means that many recyclable products are included in this waste stream and consequently end up in landfill. Closed Loop embarked on a project involving the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and BioSecurity to find potential opportunities in areas with low quarantine risk and high recovery rate, to divert recyclables from this quarantined waste stream.

World first audit for the airline industry.


Closed Loop identified the cabin and galley waste streams coming off international aircrafts arriving into Sydney airport as a potential area for a high recovery rate of recyclables.

These waste streams consist of items left in seat back pockets and collected with meal carts. In order to decipher the recyclability of these waste streams Closed Loop partnered with Qantas to conduct a world first international aircraft waste audit from 27th August to 2nd September 2012.

The Result

With the help of 90 volunteers, Closed Loop, in conjunction with Qantas, audited 27 flights for galley and cabin waste over a 7 day period.

The results demonstrated a huge opportunity for waste diversion, with over 59% of the waste coming off the air craft documented as recyclable. The project was highly engaging and insightful as it involved staff from all across Qantas’ business and is now planned to be replicated at overseas ports. With this highly valuable audit data Qantas have positioned themselves to design and deliver an international recycling program, thereby continuing their leading performance in airline sustainability.

We now have the insight to transform our waste and lead the airline industry in sustainability.


  • Waste Audit
  • Resource Management
  • Education
  • Analysis & Insights
  • Communication
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