With over 5,300 employees and 9.9 million passengers at Glasgow Airport each year, it’s easy to see how single-use plastic is a large-scale issue for the site. However a new initiative has been launched in the hope to try and reduce this problem.
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.”
Not only that, but staff were gifted 5000 reusable water bottles in an attempt to help lower the plastic used by workers on site. Back in 2014, Glasgow Airport formed an action group involving all retailers to develop a strategy towards reducing plastic waste, named ‘Keep It Clean Behind the Scenes’. Through this Charter, over 600 retail staff and more than 30 businesses were given regular training in managing waste effectively while also increasing recycling.
Why are these waste management strategies so important?
Did you know that a single plastic bottle takes 450 years to degrade?! According to Zero Waste Scotland, around 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 reusable 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 reusable 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.”