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Qantas takes big step towards sustainable future

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Australian airline Qantas is ramping up its efforts to be better on the environment

Passengers on Qantas flights will start to notice some big changes over the next couple of years.

The Australian national carrier has announced its officially quitting plastic packaging and utensils altogether.

Knives, forks, bags, wrapping, and cups are among the type of things no longer to be found on flights by 2027.

A look at Qantas’s new targets:

  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)  10 per cent use of SAF in the Group’s fuel mix by 2030, and approximately 60 per cent by 2050.
  • Waste reduction – Zero single-use plastics by 2027 and zero general waste (excluding quarantine waste) to landfill by 2030.
  • Fuel efficiency – Increase fuel efficiency by an average of 1.5 per cent per year to 2030. Achieved through updating our aircraft fleet and using more efficient flight planning, while continuing research into next generation technologies, including hydrogen and battery power.
  • Offsets – continue to build our offsetting program particularly into key Australian projects
QANTAS ZEROS IN ON EMISSIONS WITH INTERIM TARGET

Leading the biofuels industry:

Qantas says that sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is critical to the decarbonisation of the industry. The carrier is setting a target of 10 per cent SAF in fuel uptake by 2030, and approximately 60 per cent by 2050.

Qantas has already started flying with SAF sourced from overseas, with 15 per cent of fuel used out of London comprised of SAF since the beginning of 2022. A second major supply deal has been signed for almost 20 million litres a year of blended SAF out of Californian airports from 2025, with options to increase amounts as production increases. Negotiation on other offshore supply agreements are underway.

SAF is produced from certified bio feedstock, including used cooking oil, sugar cane, forestry residues, animal tallow and other waste products. It is blended with normal jet fuel and produces up to 80 per cent less emissions on a life cycle basis when compared with traditional jet kerosene.

The airline will also tie its climate change goals to the pay packets of its management team from July.

It is also aiming for zero landfill waste by 2030.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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U.S. retailers limit emergency contraception purchases

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Demand for morning after pills have led to retailers having to limit purchases

Amazon has limited sales of morning after pills as demand spikes following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

There is now a limit of three Plan B units per week on emergency contraceptive pills sold through its website.

Other U.S. retailers are also capping purchases of emergency contraceptive pills like chain pharmacy, CVS and Walmart.

Plan B is an emergency contraceptive that can be taken within 72 hours after sex. It is a synthetic form of the hormone progestin which delays ovulation briefly and prevents pregnancy.

Demand has surged following last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs Wade, ending the constitutional right to have an abortion.

Since the reversal of Roe v Wade, women have tried to find ways to control their reproductive health, by stocking up on emergency contraception.

Social media is flooding with calls to stock up on Plan B in anticipation of possible restrictions on contraceptive pills.

Meanwhile, some US companies have committed to paying staff travel expenses for those wanting an abortion.

Katerina Kostakos contributed to this article.

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Chinese investment in Australia drops

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China’s investment in Australia has plunged to its lowest levels since 2007

A new report from KPMG and the University of Sydney shows Chinese companies invested U.S. $585 million in Australia last year, which is down from a peak of U.S $16.2 billion in 2008.

It comes as relations between the two nations remain sour. Australia has previously called for an independent review into the origins of Covid-19, and a ban on foreign interference.

But Chinese officials have responded with trade sanctions, which have affected Australian wine, seafood and coal exports.

Australia was once a large destination for Chinese investment. In fact, the two nations signed an historic Free Trade Agreement in 2015, with a key focus on economic growth and creating jobs.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese says he will not make concessions to China. The newly-elected Albanese is in Europe for a series of talks with NATO leaders.

“The resistance of Ukraine has brought democratic nations closer together which have a shared commitment to rules-based, international order,” he says.

But Chinese officials believe it is irresponsible to place Ukraine and Taiwan in the same basket.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian says “Taiwan is by no means Ukraine,” and labelled Albanese’s comments as “irresponsible”.

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Target offers support to employees seeking abortions

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Target will help its employees living in states where abortions are banned by funding their travel

The company sent a memo to employees via email with the new policy to be enacted in July.

Target’s Chief Human Resources Officer says “A few months ago, we started re-evaluating our benefits with the goal of understanding what it would look like if we broadened the travel reimbursement to any care that’s needed and covered – but not available in the team member’s community”.

She says “This effort became even more relevant as [Target] learned about the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion, given that it would impact access to healthcare in some states”.

This all comes amid the reversal of Roe versus Wade removing abortion as a constitutional right within the U.S.

This has sparked a range of companies to provide similar benefits with Amazon also providing travel coverage for employees.

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