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Japan Airlines offers option to skip inflight meals to reduce food waste

Aviation Updates Philippines – Japan Airlines (JAL) is now giving passengers the option to skip inflight meals in an effort to reduce food waste.

With JAL's new "Ethical Choice - Meal Skip Option", passengers may opt out of the carrier's meal service by visiting the JAL website or calling the airline before the flight, similar to how they would request for a special meal in advance. Those who wish to do so must notify the airline at least 25 hours prior to departure.

This initiative was introduced in November of 2020 and is currently available on the carrier's Bangkok to Tokyo-Haneda red-eye flight (JL34), which departs from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport at 10:05 PM and arrives at Tokyo's Haneda Airport at 5:40 AM.

Business Class passengers who choose to forego their in-flight meal will be given an upgraded amenity kit similar to what is being offered on long-haul flights, while passengers in premium economy and economy class will be handed a regional business class amenity kit.

According to a JAL representative, the airline found that a number of its passengers on red-eye flights from Southeast Asia would rather sleep through the flight than wake up to eat. The food prepared for these passengers would then end up going to waste. With this new initiative, JAL is hoping that no extra meals will be thrown out after each flight.

JAL's "Ethical Choice" program is part of its commitment to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which includes reducing global food waste.

Aside from its "no meal" initiative, JAL recycles its maintenance engineers' used uniforms, turning them into cotton fiber to be used as sound-insulating material. To reduce paper usage, JAL uses iPads for pilot and flight attendant manuals and it no longer distributes printed menus on flights.

To conserve electricity and minimize carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, JAL has installed LED lighting in its offices and maintenance facilities.

In November, the airline announced that it will start using biofuels made from recycled household waste in 2022. The recycled aviation fuel will be produced by Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc., a company based in California.

Photo by Japan Airlines

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