Glasgow Airport has boosted its efforts against the use of single-use plastic by offering staff free refillable water bottles.
More than 5,300 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.
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 reusable 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.”
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.
A single plastic bottle will take 450 years to degrade. According to Zero Waste Scotland, approximately 15,000 tons of plastic bottles are currently sent to landfill each year across the country.
Jill Farrell, chief operating officer at Zero Waste Scotland, commented, “Single-use plastic bottles are one of the most recognizable 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.”