UK. Glasgow Airport has introduced new recycling stations which offer a sustainable solution for the disposal of single-use coffee cups.

Three recycling stations are currently located at James Martin Kitchen, Panopolis and Starbucks in the main departures area, with a further four stations to be installed soon.

Reducing waste: Glasgow Airport Sustainability Assurance Manager Kirsty Webster recycles a single-use coffee cup

Three collection tubes at the stations allow passengers and staff to recycle single-use coffee cups, lids and their contents, where previously they could only be disposed of in general waste bins.

Glasgow Airport introduced the first station in James Martin Kitchen last summer. Since its introduction, more than 12,000 cups have been recycled.

“As a responsible business we are committed to reducing our environmental impact. As disposable cups are composed of paper with a thin plastic liner to keep them from leaking, recycling them requires a specialised process,” said Glasgow Airport Sustainability Assurance Manager Kirsty Webster.

“The remaining liquid has also been a barrier to recycling as if there’s nowhere to hand to empty the contents of the cup, they are often tossed in the general waste bins.

“These stations provide both staff and our customers with the means to dispose of their leftover drink and the disposable cup in a sustainable manner, and they are proving really popular.”

[The recycling initiative is explained in the above video]

The recycling stations have been introduced as part of a city-wide initiative in Glasgow called ‘Cup Movement’, which was started by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful. When Glasgow Airport joined the initiative in the summer, it gained access to Scotland’s first cup collection and recycling service delivered in collaboration with Simply Cups.

“Transport hubs like Glasgow Airport are a key part of our take-away coffee culture, with thousands of travellers reaching for a drink in a disposable cup each day, as they wait for their flight to board,” said Keep Scotland Beautiful Campaigns and Social Innovation Manager Paul Wallace.

“We are delighted the airport has made a success of its cup recycling efforts and look forward to [further reducing] single-use cup waste as part of our Cup Movement.

“Having an initiative like this in a key hub in and out of Glasgow helps send a strong message to locals and visitors alike about the importance of waste reduction. Every step counts as we transition towards lower impact ways of living.”

Other sustainability and waste management initiatives at Glasgow Airport have included distributing reusable water bottles to more than 5,000 staff and introducing a fleet of full-electric buses to its long-stay car park operations.

Additionally, thousands of pieces of crockery and cutlery that were no longer required by the airport’s Frankie & Benny’s restaurant and due for disposal were donated to Starter Pack Glasgow. The charity helps new tenants, many of whom were previously homeless, get started with household items they may struggle to afford when moving into a new home.

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The company also organises the annual Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards. FAB 2020 will be held in Istanbul on 23 and 24 June. Istanbul Airport will host the event, which will be a celebration not only of the best in international airport dining but also of Turkish cuisine and culture. FAB 2020 will be supported strongly by Tum & Ictur, the concessionaire managing 34,000sq m of food & beverage space at Istanbul Airport.