27 Oct 2021
Glasgow Airport has installed two Reverse Vending Machines as part of a pilot project to encourage passengers and staff to recycle more of their cans and bottles.
Introduced partnership with the airport’s waste management partner Biffa, the two machines will be based on the first-floor area next to the e-gate entrance to the security hall and in the main area of the departure lounge for the next four weeks.
It is hoped that the installation of the Reverse Vending Machines will help to boost recycling by passengers and staff within the airport by providing a dedicated return point for cans and bottles.
The machines, which can each accept 320 plastic bottles and 650 cans, have been brought in on a trial basis to coincide with the COP26 summit on climate change and ahead of the introduction of the Scottish Government’s Deposit Return Scheme, which is due to begin next summer.
Although the Deposit Return Scheme won’t go live until next year, Glasgow Airport has agreed to donate 5p for each bottle or can deposited in the machines during t four-week trial to an environmentally-theme charity or project.
Kirsty Webster, Sustainability Manager at Glasgow Airport, said: “AGS Airports Ltd launched its Sustainability Strategy earlier this summer and as a Group we are committed to continuing our policy of diverting 100% of our non-hazardous waste away from landfill and to incorporate circular economy principals where possible to enhance and encourage sustainable development at our airports.
“One of the key aims of our strategy is to ban all unavoidable single-use products within the airport by 2022. We’ve made great progress in this area already with the introduction of a number of water refill stations within the airport as well as pre-security sinks where passenger can empty their water bottles and carry them through security rather than just dispose of them.
“The introduction of the Reverse Vending Machines further compliments the work already being done to reduce unnecessary waste and will help ensure cleaner, better-quality recycling and encourage passengers and staff to recycle even more.”
When it goes live next year, the Deposit Return Scheme will see consumers pay a 20p deposit when buying a drink in a bottle or can which is reimbursed when the container is returned to a collection point.
Carla Brian, Senior Commercial Development Manager at Biffa, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with Glasgow Airport to install two Reverse Vending Machines during a time where sustainability is rightly at the forefront of the agenda.
“By providing the public with an engaging way to deposit their plastic bottles and cans, we can ensure these bottles are recycled through our state-of-the-art facilities, being put back into the circular economy to be reused, supporting Scotland's vision of a greener future as it prepares to introduce the Deposit Return Scheme.
“RVMs will be a key part of the infrastructure of the Deposit Return Scheme operated by Circularity Scotland Ltd, while increasing recycling rates forms part of our wider sustainability strategy, with an aim to quadruple our UK plastic recycling capacity by 2030.”
Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers is a keystone in the Scottish Government’s strategy to address climate change, improve recycling rates and reduce litter.
Currently, the launch of the scheme is anticipated to take place on 1 July 2022, however this may change depending on the outcome of a review currently being undertaken by the Scottish Government.
Circularity Scotland, formed earlier this year, will administer the Deposit Return Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government.
For more information on the AGS Sustainability Strategy visit: Sustainability | Glasgow Airport
Pictured: Kirsty Webster, Glasgow Airport’s Sustainability Manager, and Biffa’s Corporate Account Manager for Glasgow Airport, Michelle Devlin.