A Scots airport is joining the battle against waste plastic.
Glasgow Airport is today ramping up its efforts in the battle against single-use plastic by offering staff free refillable water bottles.
More than 5300 people work in and around the airport and each one, from pilots to aircraft engineers and cabin crew to security guards, will be encouraged to pick up one of the reusable bottles.
Pupils from a Glasgow primary school, known nationwide as anti-plastic campaigners the Sunnyside Ocean Defenders, visited the airport to help hand out the branded bottles.
Kirsty Webster, Glasgow Airport’s sustainability assurance manager, said: ‘There’s a heightened awareness of single use plastics and the devastating effects they are having on our environment and oceans.
‘As a responsible business we are committed to reducing our environmental impact. We do this by offering a number of re-usable solutions as part of our own drive to reduce single-use plastics across the airport.
‘Many of our catering outlets within the terminal have already moved away from the use of plastic straws and we are keen to keep pushing this forward.
‘The introduction of the reusable bottles builds on the other waste management initiatives we already have in place, including the provision of free water refill stations in the airport. Our retailers will also fill up water bottles on request.’
The Sunnyside Ocean Defenders have made the headlines nationwide through their ‘#NaeStrawAtAw’ campaign. The pupils were invited to the airport back in May last year to spread their message and highlight the many alternatives to plastic straws to our caterers, staff and passengers.
Kirsty added: ‘The Sunnyside Ocean Defenders’ visit last year was really popular and I’m a huge fan of their campaign, so I was thrilled they were able to come back in again to help hand out the reusable bottles and reinforce the message.’
In 2014, Glasgow Airport formed an action group involving all retailers to develop a Charter which became known as ‘Keep It Clean Behind the Scenes’. Through the Charter, more than 600 retail staff from over 30 businesses receive regular training on how to manage waste effectively and increase recycling.
Lisa Perrie, principal teacher at Sunnyside Primary School, said: ‘The children were really excited about coming back to help support this campaign.
Kirsty and the airport team deserve real credit for making what is a significant commitment to fund the introduction of more than 5000 reusable bottles for staff. It sends a powerful message that we can each take steps to help to cut down on single-use plastic.’
A single plastic bottle will take 450 years to degrade. According to Zero Waste Scotland, approximately 15,000 tonnes of plastic bottles are currently sent to landfill each year across the country.
Jill Farrell, chief operating officer, Zero Waste Scotland said: ‘Single-use plastic bottles are one of the most recognisable symbols of the throwaway culture we live in. We applaud Glasgow Airport’s decision to hand out re-usable water bottles as these will give their staff the joy of using them again and again, while saving single-use plastic bottles from ending up in the landfill.
‘If we are serious about putting an end to single-use plastic pollution, then we must find sustainable alternatives, such as re-usable water bottles, and recycle as much as we can. Eco-friendly alternatives such as these not only help to protect the environment, but also save consumers money.’
More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/.