Bristol Airport launches new recycling initiative with paper cups

In a bid to reduce waste at Bristol Airport, a paper cup scheme has been launched which sees cups separated from other rubbish, recycled and re-purposed.

Bristol Airport launches new recycling initiative with paper cups

Nearly a tonne of paper cups has been recycled as a result of a new process introduced at Bristol Airport in March 2019. This is the equivalent of 54,500 standard size coffee cups which, if placed end to end would stretch for nearly six kilometres – nearly the length of 57 football pitches or three times the length of Bristol Airport’s runway. 

Working in collaboration with catering partners and waste management provider, SWRnewstar, the airport has introduced the scheme to ensure paper cups are recycled and not placed in landfill. The process has been designed to be as easy as possible for passengers: Paper cups are simply placed in normal rubbish bins before being separated at source and segregated for collection. The paper cups are then recycled at a specialist facility and reprocessed for further use.

Dan Brown, Corporate Sector Director for Automotive & Logistics, SWRnewstar, said: “Great credit has to go to Bristol Airport, their business partners and passengers for such excellent results so early on in this scheme. It shows that recycling is taken seriously at the airport and that when all stakeholders are engaged in a process it can produce really positive results. Already collections are increasing from the initial stages so I can only see higher levels of recycling and segregation moving forward.”

Bristol Airport employees already have their own reusable ‘keep cups’ and refill water bottles for use in staff catering areas, in addition to the paper cup recycling scheme.

James Shearman, Head of Sustainability, Bristol Airport, said: “We are delighted with the successful results achieved so early on in the scheme. We wanted a system that would be easy for staff and passengers, and it could not be simpler. We are working with the various business partners on site to continue our efforts in maintaining our reuse, reduce, recycle principals.”

Bristol Airport is committed to waste management and in 2018 the airport remained a zero-landfill airport however recycling and waste management improvements on site continue. This recently included installing an extra water refill station in the departure lounge, bringing the total to three stations in the terminal. This is supported by all catering outlets in the terminal providing ‘fill-up-for-free’ water top-ups for passengers using their own bottles.

Bristol Airport continues to reduce carbon emissions in order to achieve its objective to be carbon neutral by 2030. A range of actions are taking place to lower the carbon intensity of the airport infrastructure by measuring its success with reducing per passenger carbon emissions.

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