British Airways has announced plans to create a set of waste plants that turn regular household garbage – or since we're talking about plans for the UK, rubbish – into jet fuel for its fleet. The plan, currently being assessed in collaboration with renewable fuels company Velocys, is part of a program designed to cut fleet-wide emissions in half by 2050.
The airline says its first waste-recycling plant will take "hundreds of tonnes of household waste" every year, saving it from landfill and converting it into clean-burning renewable fuel. The waste will include diapers – or rather, nappies – plastic food containers and chocolate bar wrappers. The fuel produced is expected to deliver greenhouse gas savings of around 60 percent compared to current fossil fuels, for an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of around 60,000 tonnes (66,139 tons).
When up and running, the plant is expected to pump out enough fuel to power every single British Airways 787 Dreamliner flight from London to San Jose and London to New Orleans. According to the company, that will make it the first plant of its size.
This project hasn't just popped up completely out of the goodness of British Airways' heart. Last week, the British Department for Transport published a set of changes to its Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation. Those changes means sustainable jet fuel is now eligible for incentives, in an attempt to promote cleaner aviation.
Don't expect your next flight to be powered by biofuel, either: the project is still at the feasibility study stage.