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JAL to recycle 100% of airline food waste into fertilizer

Japanese carrier will also change preparation methods and ditch single-use plastic

As of fiscal 2019, JAL was recycling less than 8% of the food waste from preparing in-flight meals.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan Airlines aims to recycle all cooking waste from in-flight meals into fertilizer as part of its sustainability goals.

The 100% target is set for fiscal 2025, which runs through March 2026. Group company JAL Royal Catering will lead the effort.

Food will also be prepared differently with an eye toward reducing waste at the source. Fiscal 2019 saw the production of 48 tons of vegetable waste. But only 7.7% of food waste was recycled.

Beyond the kitchen, JAL will tackle food loss in such areas as unused inventory and leftover meals.

Passengers who cancel in-flight meals before boarding will be rewarded with free eye masks, for example. This will be put into place on all international routes by fiscal 2025.

By that year, JAL will also eliminate single-use plastic items it provides in passenger cabins and airport lounges.

The company has already started reducing the volume of packaging used for in-flight meals, as well as using recyclable material for the packaging. These efforts will be expanded.

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