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Skip the toilet, save the planet, says airline

4 December 2006

Could it be the first flush of environmental awareness in China? One of the country’s leading airlines has begun encouraging passengers to use the toilet before they board flights as a way of saving energy.

Chinese Southern Airlines hopes to reduce costs with the new policy because it estimates that a single flush at 30,000 feet uses a litre of fuel, the Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. “The energy used in one flush is enough for an economical car to run at least 10km,” pilot Liu Zhiyuan was quoted as saying.

The airline also hinted at plans to improve efficiency by carrying fewer creature comforts. The company estimates the average aircraft in their fleet uses 60 tonnes of fuel a day simply to carry blankets and pillows. Reducing the human waste in the aeroplane’s tanks would also save 47m yuan (£3m) per year.

source: Guardian Unlimited

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