Frankfurt Airport has set up a recycling machine banks for bottles relinquished at security checks. The customers are given the additional option to send money to the charity organization of their choice.
Surrender your item! Because of tight security rules, it happens very often that irritated travellers are forced to leave bottles of liquid, cans or similar object at the security checks. Everybody understands that those precautions are very important to guarantee the general security but this has been a nuisance for the travelling public, as many people are forced to purchase a bottle of water again beyond security to replace the one left behind.
However, many airports around the world are coming up with innovative ideas to smooth this passage, to decrease the customers’ irritation and to reduce waste at the same time. San Francisco International Airport, for example, encourages passengers going through its new Terminal 2 to empty their plastic bottles before entering the security area. After passing through the checkpoint, passengers can stop at so-called ‘hydration stations’ to refill their water bottles for free.
The Frankfurt Airport has find a way to cope with this, setting up recycling banks for those bottles, and giving also to customers the additional option to send money to the charity of their choice.
With this innovation, every time the forgetful passengers will try to carry on board some forbidden items, the objects will be put into the bottle return machines installed in Terminal 1. The bottles are later collected, emptied of their liquids and then sold to recycling companies. Rather than simply taking passengers’ belongings, this machine offers the possibility of making a donation to charity. The organisations that can be supported in this way are: Worldwide Wildlife Fund, air-based humanitarian aid charity Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen, local food bank Frankfurter Tafel or Franziskustreff – a fund for homeless people in the city. If the customer doesn’t make a choice, donations are automatically sent to the WWF. Frankfurt Airport says the bottle return machine is very well received by passengers. Should the feedback continue to grow positively, the return system will be installed at other locations throughout the airport.
The bottle return machines helps to turn a forced act, into a valuable exchange, since passengers understand that the items they give up will help to do some good, rather than simply ending up in the trash.
We hope to have soon some of those innovation at the YVR airport in Vancouver, and we wonder if there are other ways to make airports a more friendly place..