Australian airline Qantas is celebrating after completing what it calls the first-ever commercial flight without producing any waste that will go to a landfill.

Flight 739 from Sydney to Adelaide, Australia, used products that will only go to compost, recycling or will be reused, the airline said in a statement. Qantas says it's set a goal of cutting 100 million single-use plastics by the end of next year, and to cut 75% of its waste by the end of 2021.

Qantas CEO Andrew David said this same flight would normally produce 75 pounds of waste. That same Sydney-to-Adelaide route would produce 150 tons of waste per year, according to Qantas.

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Here's how Qantas said it pulled off zero waste.

  • 1,000 single-use plastic items were removed or substituted
  • Paper cups with plastic made from plant matter, not oil.
  • Napkins made with pulp
  • Food containers made from sugar cane pulp left over from refineries
  • Plastic cutlery made from starch sourced from non-GMO crops
  • Organic material will be composted
  • Plastic, paper, glass and aluminum packaging will be recycled
  • Non-recyclable plastics will be used into a type of non-fossil fuel that is used in making cement
  • Customers used digital boarding passes and electronic bag tags where possible. Staff made sure paper passes and tags were disposed of in a sustainable way.

Qantas said it also operated the first Australia-United States flight last year using biofuel processed from mustard seed.