Heathrow today demanded industry-wide action to achieve carbon- neutral flying.

The airport backed its biggest customer, British Airways owner International Airlines Group’s pledge to become the first airline group worldwide to commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Heathrow is to start a new trial turning unrecyclable plastic passenger waste – including food packaging and plastic film – into airport furniture, uniforms and lower-emission jet fuel by 2025.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye attended the UN Climate Summit in New York. He announced that the London hub would join the World Economic Forum’s new ‘Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition’ aimed at helping the sector achieve carbon-neutral flying.

He also welcomed the Committee on Climate Change recommendation for government to include aviation in the UK’s net zero emissions target by 2050.

The airport claimed that polls showed that more local residents support its third runway expansion plan than oppose it in 16 out of the 18 Parliamentary constituencies around Heathrow following the end of a 12-week consultation on its preferred masterplan.

Reporting 6.7 million passengers in September, Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow is committed to achieving net zero emissions in aviation and is working to de-carbonise airport operations as quickly as possible.

“IAG’s announcement of net zero emissions from flight by 2050 shows that the aviation sector as a whole can decarbonise and protect the benefits of global travel and trade.

“We will work with them to achieve this and call on other airlines to follow their lead.”

Passengers using the airport edged up by 0.7% to almost 61 million between January and September over the same period last year.

September saw a 6.5% drop in domestic, a 5.8% decline in EU passengers and falls to Asia Pacific and Latin America. North American numbers remain static, with small increases to the Middle East and Africa.