In-flight meal trays designed to reduce airline waste.

06 10 2019 | 17:49

A British design firm has created plastic-free, partially edible meal trays in an effort to reduce airline waste and encourage businesses and travellers to address their consumption habits.

The compostable trays, made from used coffee grounds, accompany a side dish lid made of algae or banana leaf, as well as a spork made from coconut wood, replacing single-use plastic cutlery. Disposable mini condiment and milk pods have also been substituted with soluble seaweed.

An estimated 5.7 million tonnes of waste, including single-use plastic, earphones and food waste, is created on passenger flights every year.

PriestmanGoode, the designers of this new set, hopes to revolutionise various elements of cabin service with zero-waste alternatives. The firm is currently in discussions with airlines as they attempt to introduce their concept throughout the industry.

Sustainability in the airline industry is gaining momentum, with Qantas operating the world’s first ‘zero waste’ flight earlier this year. The Sydney to Adelaide flight avoided the 34kg of waste typically generated on the route, with around 1000 single-use plastic items being substituted with sustainable alternatives or removed from the flight altogether. Alternative products used throughout the flight included fully compostable meal containers and cutlery made from sugar cane and crop starch.

With direct emissions from the aviation industry accounting for more than 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, this news is an encouraging sign that improvement is on its way. 

Positive Action

  • Next time you fly take note of the waste created in-flight and be sure to contact the airline to see if any progress is being made.
  • Want to enjoy your holiday and improve your sustainability all at once? Check out our Eco Holiday Hacks and get involved inNational Recycling Week in November.




1 October 2019