Planes could take off from British airports using fuels made from rubbish that gets sent to landfill, under a new government scheme.

The plans are part of a scheme to promote clean alternative fuels, and the government is offering funding for projects in the UK to develop low carbon waste-based fuels for planes and lorries, with matching funding from industry.

Trials of sustainable jet fuel, made from waste materials, have taken place in Europe and North America, and now the launch of a UK competition will see British experts conduct pioneering research in this sector.

The department has already had interest from more than 70 groups in bidding for the funding.

The new fuels are chemically very similar to conventional fuels, so can be used in existing aircraft without the need for any engine modifications.

The low carbon transport fuels made from waste materials could be worth £600 million a year to the British economy by 2030, and could also support up to 9,800 new jobs.

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