World Environment Day 2018 – 5 ways airports are fighting plastic waste

June 5, 2018

Today is World Environment Day! This year’s theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. And while this an effort that falls outside of the climate action we usually talk about here, we still wanted to bring your attention to the ways in which airports are showing commitment to this noble goal.
Here are 5 examples of initiatives put in place by our Airport Carbon Accredited airports, that aim to kick plastic waste to the curb.  
1. Staying committed to the 4R principle (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Replace)
As part of this commitment, Montréal Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau Airport has set a goal of achieving recovery of 50% of all waste materials generated at the airport. To that end, multi-material recovery bins have been installed in public areas as well as administrative offices throughout Montréal-Trudeau airport, enabling collection and recycling of paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metal. We also hail the idea of installing water bottle filling stations after security! Passengers can now fill up their reusable bottles after having passed the scrutiny of the checkpoint staff. 
Learn more here
Recap: Montréal Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau Airport is at Level 3 Optimisation of Airport Carbon Accreditation
2. Opening a recycling center on site
Athens International Airport is encouraging its employees to recycle more. The airport has created different points on the airport site where employees can recycle materials from their day-to-day work, as well as bring recyclables from home; including plastic, paper and even e-waste. Athens Airport has plans in store to use Internet of Things technology to motivate their employees even more. 
Learn more here.
Recap: Athens International Airport is carbon neutral.
3. Banning the use of plastic straws
You’ve surely seen the video in which a plastic straw is being painfully removed from the nose of a sea turtle. If you haven’t, here is a link that might change the way you look at this sipping gear.  London City Airport was the first airport in the UK to implement a full ban on plastic straws in their food and beverage outlets.  
Read more here
Recap: London City Airport is at Level 3 Optimisation. 
4. Handing out re-usable cups to staff
In a bid to reduce the use of disposable coffee cups at London Stansted Airport, re-usable beakers were handed out to Manchester Airports Group staff. This was just one initiative in a whole week dedicated to highlighting the need to recycle across the business. 
Read about it here
Recap: London Stansted Airport is at Level 3 Optimisation.  
5. Installing waste recycling machines
Passengers at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad received an option to either make a donation or claim a discount coupon in return for submitting their empty plastic water bottles/bags/metal cans into the crushing machines installed at the airport. The project has been taken up under the airport’s signature #PassengerisPrime programme to inspire people to contribute towards environmental sustenance.
Find out more about this initiative here
Recap: Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad is carbon neutral 
This is just a sample selection of initiatives carried out by airports around the world. Next time you pass through an airport, make sure to help them in these efforts
Happy World Environment Day!